A cold and windy day greeted the Yarrawonga Pigeons on Saturday for their battle for four points against the Myrtleford Saints.
The highlight of the day was Xavier Leslie playing game number 266 to break the previous record total of 265 recorded by the late great Ken “Pascoe” Ellis.
“Pascoe’ played his final game for the Pigeons against North Albury at Bunton Park in round 18 1967.
“Pascoe” played with plenty of passion which saw him become a member of the first premiership team in 1959. After joining the O&M league in 1929, awarded life membership by the Pigeons in the early sixties, made a member of the O&M hall of fame in 2012 and in all this, remained highly respected in all O&M circles and throughout the Yarrawonga district.
A big thank you to his wife Marg to be in attendance and pass this record onto Xavier.
We at the YFNC have no doubt that Xavier will be an outstanding holder of this record and will add many more games to this total.
Anyone who knows Xavier, knows his total commitment to the Pigeons and all are overjoyed with his achievement.
All in all a big thank you to all concerned, and continue to play well Xavier.
The game highlighted the youth of the Pigeon team and the ability of many players to run with the ball and take the game on.
Travis Hargreaves, Brady Pritchard, Isaac McMillan, Jess Koopman, Nick Lawless, Zac Smith and Ryan Bruce showed natural speed and this gives the Pigeons a very strong weapon to utilise moving forward.
The injection of Wheeler, Bruce, McMillan, Urquhart, Gallagher, Casey and Smith this season, has given the senior coach Damian Sexton and his selectors the ability to use speed on the big grounds and make good use of this weapon.
Using Jess Koopman as a defender in recent weeks and now switching him back into the forward line proved to be a match winner.
Exceptionally talented, Koopman was a refreshed player.
It appeared that he had forgotten the ball spends plenty of time on the ground and left a lot of his possessions to marking.
His ability to win and control the ball below his knees was outstanding showing his all-round ability to win the ball.
Coach Sexton will be hoping he continues to find plenty of possessions from spillages and crumbing.
Six goals and four behinds was a great reward for his game.
Jayden Gallagher, Jordon Daniel and Beau Seymour were very good on the tall forwards.
Jake Wild and Matt Casey did a great job in the ruck with Lachy Howe utilised by the Collingwood Magpies.
On ball captain Tyler Bonat along with Mark Whiley, Harry Wheeler, Bronson Schofield and Brady Pritchard all won plenty of possessions and helped record breaker Leslie to a great victory.
Great to see Matt Dwyer, an absolute champion from the 2012/13 premiership sides back playing his trade again. A neat and tidy player with good delivery skills will be a great asset.
In both of these grand finals his efforts were magnificent only to be runner up best on ground on both occasions and missed the 2014 grand final with a knee reconstruction.
Also Nick Lawless found conditions to suit him and played the game a lot better showing plenty of freedom.
No home and away football/netball this weekend but the O&M will play Interleague against the Western Region, a metro league, at Yarrawonga’s J.C.Lowe Oval.
Make sure that you come down to watch our local champions representing the league.
Chronicle Award :5 J.Koopman, 4 M. Whiley, 3 H.Wheeler, 2 I.McMillan, 1 T. Hargreaves.
Yarrawonga 19.14.128 def Myrtleford 1.1.7.
Goal Kickers: L. Congram 8, C. Wiles 2, J. Sexton 2, M. McMillan, M. Collins Bye, M. Grinter, J. Gorman, C. Pearn, T. Lawrence, R. Clarke
Best Players: L. Congram, R. Clarke, J. Sexton, J. Elliott, J. Gorman, J. MaConachie
The Pigeons Second 18 had an easy win on Saturday.
The boys took on a very undermanned Myrtleford and ran out 121-point winners.
In what turned out to be an uninspiring contest, there were some real shining lights for the future of Yarrawonga Football Club with under 18 players Jack Brooks, Jack Sexton, Tim Lawrence, Harry Meade and Ned Mullins taking the opportunity to test themselves against bigger bodied footballers and proving themselves to be very capable.
In the absence of regular captain, Chris Wilson, James Elliott took over the role and showed plenty of leadership.
In only his second game, James broke the lines with his hard running ability and repelled Myrtleford’s advances into the forward line.
Luke Congram continued his good form kicking 8 goals.