O&K: Dees book Finals ahead of massive test

Ovens & Murray Football League

 

β€œWe’re just looking for a bit more of a ruck dominance and someone to help Gatto out in the middle"

Rovers captain Tom Boyd on pairing up with former Murray Bushranger teammate Ed Dayman

The Headline

The Rovers have snuck in some tall timber before the closing of the clearance window, welcoming Ed Dayman back from Ocean Grove.

Big men were considered a potential Achilles heel for the brown & gold at the beginning of the season when VFL forward John Jorgensen pulled out of the lineup on season's eve, leaving Will Christie & veteran Shane Gaston to shoulder majority of the burden.

Although Christie hasn't taken the field since the R9 clash against Yarra, & Dayman is likely out for 2 to 3 himself, the pairing is surely a massive boost the Rovers hopes of snapping a 30 year flag drought.

Around the Grounds

It's unlikely to be remembered as week of great games, conditions turning making for some genuine winter footy where the ball's heavy & the hits hurt a little more.

Myrt & Wodonga encapsulated the typical slog-fest, managing a combined 6 majors for the day before the Saints kicked the 7th to run out winners.

The Raiders & Tiges wasn't much better a spectacle, 26 behinds from 35 shots on.
The ugly win sees Albury climb back inside the 5, after falling out for the first time since R18 '08.

Yarra v Lavi was certainly the pick of the round. From 22 points down at the main break, the Panthers managed to claw their way within a kick inside 10 minutes remaining in the game, before the Pigeons do what they do and snatched it back for a 12 point win.

Goalkickers

πŸ‰ In a low scoring week, Hopper Josh Minogue & Pigeon Leigh Williams headed the goal kickers with 4

πŸ‰ Roo Sam Dunstan & Panther Darcy Smith were next best with 3 apiece

πŸ‰ Pie Cal Moore maintains a 5 goal buffer from Minogue, picking up just the 1 with a late move into the ruck

The Good - Wang left it till late, but getting the job done from 22 points down midway through the last against another top 3 contender was impressive. Slow start, strong finish might be the tale of the tape for their season...

The Bad - The Rovers have yet to fully bury a team, reflected in the lowest percentage of the top 5. Luckily, wins count for more, holding a 2 game buffer from the 3rd placed North

The Ugly - 1.13 & goalless until the last could be about as disappointing as it gets for the Raiders

Match of the Round

Lavi v Albury

Plenty on the line for both clubs here, with Wodonga's injury woes opening up that last spot in the 5. The Tiges have jumped in for the time being on percentage, Lavi just a game & percentage behind.

Form: Lavi (3-2) - Albury (3-2)

Albury are still the only team to take out the reigning premiers this season, but that grueling win was offset by disappointing losses to the Maggies & Saints in the consecutive weeks.

Meanwhile, the Panthers certainly haven't been disgraced in either of their losses to Yarra (the most recent last week), and managed to knock off a red hot Doggies before their troubles really set in.

With a win over the Tiges at Albury under their belt already, Lavi will give themselves every chance of a repeat upset. 

Last Time: R3 - Lavi by 21 points

Tip: Lavi by 7 points

Hume Football League

 

"We will have to bring a four-quarter effort to be any hope against them"

Jindera coach Joel Mackie on tackling Holbrook with a mounting injury toll

The Headline

Jindera's top 2 hopes are fading fast as a mounting injury toll begins to wreak havoc on their campaign.

Coach Joel Mackie, Luke Garland, Zach Bye, Will McGrath, George Flanagan & Alex Rowe all missed last week's loss at Lockhart, with captain Dan Middleton suffering a broken arm during the match.

Luckily for the Doggies, they've banked early points with a 7-1 start, but their season looks built on a house of cards entering a month of turmoil with Howlong, Osborne & CDHBU after the Brookers.

Around the Grounds

Howlong have found a nice little vein of form in the past fortnight, annihilating Murray & backing it up with a 13 point win over RWW, sending the Giants tumbling to 6th on the ladder a week on from fighting it out for 2nd spot.

Billabong survived a scare, trailing BB at the half but only conceding one more goal from that point, while Holbrook & Osborne had little trouble with Culcairn & Murray.

The Power dominated Henty from go to wo out at the Swamp, taking the game away with a blistering 7 goal to 1 first term and enjoying a nice little boost to their percentage.

Goalkickers

πŸ‰ BB's Zach Barrenechea, CDHBU's Jack Andison & Howlong's Connor Clarke ran rampant with 5 snags each

πŸ‰ Hopper Luke Gestier, Tiger Dec Galvin, the Power's Ryan Beveridge & Henty's Shannon Terlich (the Swampies only goalkicker) all bagged 4

πŸ‰ Doggy Trent Castles maintains a narrow lead of the goalkickers on 42, despite not hitting the big sticks against Lockhart - still just 1 ahead of Osborne's George Alexander who missed against Murray

The Good - Straight kicking wins games of footy as Lockhart demonstrated in their win over Jindera, -2 in scoring shots but wrapping up the 4 points

The Bad - RWW capitulating to Howlong - goalless in the last & unable to back up solid W's v CDHBU & Jindera where last quarter efforts were a theme

The Ugly - Gun Power recruit George Sandral anxiously awaits scans, possibly picking up a 3rd ACL in his short career

Match of the Round

Holbrook v Jindera

The Doggies have one of the League's toughest assignments this week when travelling to Holbrook to face off with a green & gold machine just starting to hit their straps.

It's a difficult ask even with a full list, but harder to see a repeat of their R1 win given their injury list.

Form: Holbrook (5-0) - Jindera (3-2)

The Brookers might have had a slightly easier run over the past 5 weeks, but still took care of business comfortably against the Giants in that time, & Lockhart a week outside of the form guide.

They just so happen to be the sides that have handed Jindera losses in the last month.

Last Time: R1 - Dogs by 6 points

Tip: Brookers by 30 points

Tallangatta & District Football League

"In these sorts of conditions, it usually comes down to which side wants it most"

Bushies coach Tom Cartledge on his team's top of the table triumph

The Headline

Former Wahgunyah coach Chris Willis has sensationally departed the Den for the Upper Murray.

Speculation was rife following his absence from the R9 thumping at the hands of Chiltern, a month on from delivering the Lions their first win in more than 1000 days against DMB.

He leaves the league battlers deeper in crisis mode while chasing flag hopes himself with Bullioh.

Around the Grounds

The first rendition of the pre-September finals sure lived up to the hype, results leaving much to the imagination as to who the eventual premier will be.

Yack got the better of KSC, their back 6 again proving why they're the best in the league, strangling the Hawks while the Roos piled on the pressure with forward forays.

The Bushies snuck away with the points despite negative scoring shots & failing to register in the last term, with the Swans missing a host in offence.
Souring the win, Barton Medallist Cam Fendyk left the field in the second term, a shoulder injury preventing him from taking further part. Things aren't as bad as initially feared, but he'll still miss weeks.

The Saints & Dogs also produced a genuine spectacle, with back & forth lead changes in the dying stages before scores levelled, leaving the result anyone's guess.

Goalkickers

πŸ‰ Cats Jyda House & James Tanner took the biggest bags this week with 8 & 6 respectively

πŸ‰ Saints Ryan Coates & Adam Tipungwuti and Dog Luke Gerecke all snared 3 in their draw

πŸ‰ Tiger Jack Chesser & Swan Mark Doolan both bagged 2, but have yet to catch Hopper James Breen who'll return from suspension this week

The Good - Yack taking out their first win against KSC in 14 years, keeping the Hawks goalless in the 2nd & 3rd terms

The Bad - Wodonga's Brodie A'Vard had the chance to steal the W with a late long range shot, but failed to register in the first draw of the TDFL season

The Ugly - Things are going from bad to worse for the Hoppers. Although they escaped with a win against battlers DMB, it was a 173 point turnaround from their R1 thumping of the Bombers & their only win since early May

Match of the Round

Beechworth v Yack

Back to back 1st v 2nd & 3rd v 4th!

Both the Bushies & Roos posted their most impressive wins of the season to date last week, and now square off for top spot.

Can't ask for much more from the footy gods... maybe just some better weather.

Form: Beechworth (5-0) - Yack (5-0)

Neither team encountered much resistance in the 4 weeks leading up to their massive matches last week, both averaging 100+ point wins in that time.

Yack's win over KSC was arguably more impressive than that of Beechy's over Chiltern, & Fendyk missing also tilts things further in favour the Roos.

Last Time: R2 - Bushies by 21 points

Tip: Roos by 4 points

Ovens & King Football League

 

"Pressure’s a privilege. We’ve got to take that on and understand that the ball’s in our court, it’s in our hands"

North Wang coach Steve Manning ahead of the Hawks run for the finals, with four of the top five in that time

The Headline

Bonnie Doon have extended their unbeaten run to 27 on the trot.

Last they were rolled was way back in R5 '23 to Greta.

Highlighting their dominance over the competition, in the 108 quarters they've since played, the Bombers have dropped just 14 of them, and have only trailed at any break on 5 occasions - 2 of them coming in last week's match against the Hoppers.

Around the Grounds

Whorouly snuck in their 3rd win of the season over Benalla, slowly pulling away in the second half.

Milawa also started slow, turning a slight quarter time deficit into a decent lead at the half and continuing on from that point to record a solid win.

Meanwhile, Bright & Greta were never in doubt, both with 5 goal opening terms to close the doors early on Tarra & Goorambat.

Goalkickers

πŸ‰ Roo Beau Wheeler's 6 couldn't overcome the Dees Brady Bartlett, Braydon Kearns, Jared Lea & Kheda Stevenson - each with 3

πŸ‰ Greta's Jimmy McClounan, and Bright's Dylan Bursill & Luke Quirk all snagged 4

πŸ‰ Cooper Thomason showed no signs of slowing down on return from suspension, bagging 7 majors

The Good - Jimmy McClounan. Averaging 4 goals a game over the past 2 months... from the guts

The Bad - The spectacle between the Bats & Blues. 35 behinds combined from 49 shots on is a tough watch, even in trying conditions

The Ugly - Moyhu might have poked the bear, taking the lead into the half against the reigning premiers. All downhill from that point though, only managing 2 minor scores for the remainder of the game

Match of the Round

Greta v Bright

Vengeance for their '23 straight sets exit was the mission for the Blues last time around at Pioneer Park, this time to secure the second chance against the only realistic opposition able to push them out of a top 2 finish in the Mountain Men.

Form: Greta (5-0) - Bright (3-2)

As fate would have it, these two shaped off back in R9, Greta handing Bright the first of their 2 recent losses (the other to Bonnie Doon).
The League's 2 best goalkickers in Frazer Judd & Cooper Thomason went blow for blow, both jagging 5, but the Blues just moved the ball better with +7 scoring shots.

A week's a long time in football, let alone 5, so expect this one to be another ripper.

Last Time: R9 - Blues by 22 points

Tip: Blues by 16 points