Rennie 3.3 4.3 7.6 8.7 (55)
Deniliquin Rovers 1.2 3.8 5.10 8.15 (63)
Goals: R Willett 3, C Ednie 2, Ferguson 1, Conway 1, Runnalls 1.
Best: Bigger Conway, Ryan McCallum, Fountain Brooks.
On a tough, windy day at Rennie, the Hoppers went down by 8 points to the undefeated Deniliquin Rovers.
The Hoppers were on early with their tackling and pressure being elite and with Willett goaling from half forward.
Conway controlling half back and Ryan linking well with his backman the hoppers had a 13-point lead. The breeze was making ball movement difficult but the skilled execution of Bigger and Fountain was obvious to all, supported by the gut running of McCallum from the back flank.
Hoppers by a point at half time.
Term 3 was an arm wrestle as goals to Willett and Ednie pushed the hopper lead out, only to see Rovers grab a late goal to be within 8.
As brave as Westwood and Brooks were in defence, an onslaught of inside 50’s by the visitors saw them kick 3 final term goals to run out victors.
Another solid effort by the hoppers, but they need to convert chances to wins.
Player incentives went to Westwood and Runnalls.
The two’s had a bad second term but apart from that to lose by 50 was not a fair indication of the game’s evenness.
Campbell was lively around goal and kicked 2, Page has found his niche deep in the backline.
Douglass was dominant on ball and Bailey Small in his first game showed some real talent.
Awards: Cellarbrations - Keegan Page, Hicks Butchery - Ben Douglass, Yarrawonga Hotel - Adam Nish, Lake Mulwala Bakery - Bailey Small.
The three’s clicked, played top footy and against a highly rated opponent won by 71 points.
The hoppers won the game in term 1 kicking 5 goals 8 behinds in a complete term of footy.
Tough to single out players as everyone contributed.
The power of McInness, silk of Jack Kennedy, run and carry of Cartwright, finishing of Lovel all contributed.
Then to hold the game square against the breeze was pivotal.
Term 3 was similar to the first with Droop goaling, Benjamin winning the ball and Sam Thomas winning the aerial contests.
With a big defensive effort in the last term this was a full game effort.
Awards: Murray Valley Rural Services - Josh McInness, Wingates - Jack Kennedy
Bi Rite Electrical - Hayden Cartwright, Hall/Arnold Family - Brody Benjamin, Bull Plain Farm- Sam Thomas, Redback Waste - Sam Trewin
The fourths saw the benchmark team in the comp losing by 81 points and not troubling the scorers.
The standard has been set for them in how to compete, improve their tackling and grab scoring opportunities when they arise.
Nagle and Phillips were standouts for the hoppers with their competitiveness and desperation, supported by Bassett at half back and Bennett in the guts.
Doherty and Milbourne were solid in defence in a learning experience for the boys.
Awards: I & P Ferguson - Harry Nagle, Kennedy Builders - Luke Phillips, STF Engineerin - Jack Bassett, Murray River Electrical - Cooper Milbourne, Belmores Accounting - Joe Lee-Conway, Lake Mulwala Bakery - Dom McInness, Yarrawonga Auto Elec - Fraser Bennett
Home to Mathoura this week. With no under 17’s the under 14’s will start at 11am. Remember to buy your ball ticket for June 2 off Lisa Starr and get your raffle tickets back to Cyndi or Paula.
Also the Junior Ball is on May 26.