Round 8

Ovens & Murray Football League


"Massive with our tackle pressure. We swarmed them in the second quarter, that was our best"

Wodonga co-coach Jack O'Sullivan

We said Albury was vulnerable last week - words rarely spoken of the perennial powerhouses - but we're doubling down after Wodonga broke through for an 11 point win, ending a 7 year drought.

They're in trouble!

Their forwards can't kick a score, failing to register 10 goals in their past 4 matches; a star studded midfield fed by one of the best ruckmen in the league looks lacklustre at best; and the Doggies tackling pressure (+17) made it look like boys against men.

With 2 of their 3 wins this year coming against the struggling Roos & Raiders, plus only just surviving against North, things don't bode well for the Tiges in the grandfinal rematch against the Pigeons at home.

Yarra dished up a 136 point thrashing to maintain their spot on top, heaping more pain on the Raiders.

Leigh Williams (23) joined North's Josh Minogue on top of the Doug Strang with 5 snags, but was upstaged by Matt Casey who bagged 8.

The Raiders managed just the solitary goal after half time, and are in genuine danger of becoming Corowa's first victim after the interleague bye with the form they're in, averaging 93 point losses. That definitely won’t be helped by former VFL defender Darrean Wyatt throwing in the towel, telling the club he won’t return to Birallee this year - obviously over getting flogged.

This week though, they take on Myrt who hit the winners list for the first time this year.

Conversely to the Raiders, the Saints only lost their first 4 rounds by an average of under 3 goals, and were right in it against Wang at the last break. In some reward for effort, Myrt ran out 12 goal winners over Corowa.

The Roos might have sized this one up as an opportunity on seasons eve, but missing Tom Forrest (Bushies), Jedd Longmire (Collingwood VFL) & Scott Jansen (late out) - coupled with Dean Druce, Ned Taylor & Tom Young all going down in the first - A 5.4 to zip opening term effectively ended any hope.

Lachy Murphy-Dale (6) & Brody Ricardi (4) combined for 10 of the Saints 18 goals, while Corowa never looked likely, only challenging with a 2nd quarter win.

The Roos are in for another harsh week, as they face up to a Wang outfit looking for a percentage booster to challenge the top 5.

The Maggies overcame the risk of a premature end to their season with a 10 goal win over Lavi.

16 shots on in the first half for 5.11 (41) might have left the door ajar for the Panthers - if not for their lack of possession, inside 50's & own woes in front of goal - but any hope was snuffed out when the Pies found their sights in the 3rd with 7.1.

Cal Moore enjoyed a day out with 6, to now sit 3rd in the goalkickers, while Lavi coach Adam Schneider was filthy with their inconsistency after putting on such a show last week against the Rovers, despite missing Connor Willis & Ben Ashley-Cooper to VFL duties, asks Jono Spina also out.

The Panthers now host North where they'll need to rediscover that form.

North fell to the Rovers by 40 points, who remain the only undefeated side alongside Yarra.

Co-captain Tom Boyd stepped up to fill the roll of on field general after coach Sam Murray left the field early with a hammy, cutting off supply to the Hoppers forwards with his intercept marking.

Boyd's relocation to the back 6 this season also allowed VFL defender Nathan Cooper (free of state commitments) to slip forward with 5 goals.
North managed to cut the margin 1 straight shortly after half time, but the Rovers dominated with 9 of the next 12 goals from that point.

Souring the win for the Rovers, Cam Chamberlain went to hospital with a wrist injury after the game. Coupled with Murray's hammy heading into a massive clash with the Bulldogs, the news is less than ideal - but they’ll happily welcome Kieran Parnell back to fill the void.

Hume Football League


"To emerge with the four points was the main thing with the position that we were in heading into the clash"

Brookers co-coach Andrew Mackinlay reflects on the importance of their win

Holbrook announced they're not going anywhere after losses to Jindera and CDHBU, stunning previously undefeated Osborne at home in front of their 2004 premiership heroes.

The 9 point win isn't an accurate account of the Brookers domination though, as their inaccuracy (+14 scoring shots) allowed the Tiges to hit the lead midway through the last. Ultimately though, Holbrook managed to steady the ship and collect the 4 points.

Andy Dear got the job done on Osborne spearhead George Alexander, keeping him goalless - and the Brookers defence as a whole, buoyed by the return of Corey McCarthy, restricted an attack averaging 126 points to just 8 goals. More than that - the midfield led by Jock Triggs - simply refused to allow the Tiges the opportunity to push forward, resulting in zero Osborne marks inside 50.

Great signs heading into their clash with Lockhart.

In another surprise result, the Dees slipped up against the Swampies.

Capitalising on a Dees outfit minus forward linchpin Ronny Middleton (not returning this week) & Azzi Medallist Abe Wooden in a low scoring affair, the Swampies produced +6 scoring shots - the ultimate margin.

Having not been disgraced by any means a week prior against the Giants, Henty co-coach Brenden Maclean reckons that loss actually held them in good stead coming into the match against Lockhart, as his young chargers have started buying into - and executing the game plan.

With things starting to click, the inclusion of Jared Brennan Heath Ohlin back in after withdrawing late, Henty should make light work of BB.

BB proved no match for Jindera, copping a 131 point shellacking.

Trent Castles climbed to the top of the goalkickers with 11, sitting on 26 - 3 clear of Osborne's George Alexander and Brooker Luke Gestier falling back to 3rd on 19.

The Doggies are now equal top of the table - 3rd only on percentage to the Tiges & Giants - and have the opportunity to jump a spot with a win on Saturday given they play off in a top of the table clash.

The points won't be easy to come by at home against Billabong though.

The Crows have caused the biggest upset of the season to date, rolling the previously undefeated Giants at Urana.

Following a spirited fightback from just under 2 goals down at the half, the Billabong produced a scintillating 5.2 to 1 straight 3rd term to take a 15 point lead into the final change - a margin they'd hold onto come the final siren.

The effort came without the services of recruit Adam Lamb, who copped 4 weeks after being referred straight to the tribunal for rough conduct, a charge which caused the abandonment of the match against Culcairn a week prior.

RWW need to regroup quickly as they head into match of the round, and have called in the cavalry with Sam Herzich, Mitch Thomas, Oscar Hayes & fraser Elliot all returning for an opportunity to nab top spot at Osborne.

Murray were lucky to steal the chocolates against Culcairn, who must have had a gale force wind across goal following them for the day.

The Lions had 5 more scoring shots than the Pies' 20, but managed an outrageous 4.21 (45), essentially handing the game away. The writing was on the wall early, with 7 Culcairn behinds in the first foreshadowing a grim day in front of the big sticks, repeating the effort in the 3rd with only an additional major.

The Maggies will go in again without former Albury midfielder Spencer Jones (shoulder), but the reliable Reilly Mitchell has been named for their clash with CDHBU in an effort to spoil the '94 Daysdale Centenary reunion - Poetic irony that the Power will play off against the colours they wore in that flag triumph.

Howlong have been dealt a devastating blow to their finals aspirations, narrowly falling to CDHBU.

Things looked grim for the Spiders most of the day, only registering 1.3 until the main break, while the Power consistently hit the scoreboard after welcoming back coach Kyle Docherty (2), plus the inclusion of Ryan Beveridge & Corey Smith providing some forward structure sorely missed last week.

But with a 5.2 final term, Howlong almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, even hitting the front before CDHBU regained the lead. Spider Baxter Macfarlane had an opportunity to tie things up in the final 30 seconds, but sent the pill into the post, the Power holding to for a 5 point win.

Howlong now host Culcairn, astonishingly a 10th vs 11th battle. 

Tallangatta & District Football League

"We needed a big scalp after losing to Kiewa-Sandy Creek and Beechworth, which were matches we weren't happy about losing"

Yack co-coach Justin Maybury

Yack have signalled their intentions, handing Chiltern their biggest loss in over 2 years, allowing just 5.3 (33).

The Roos extended their lead at every change, spreading the love with 8 individual goalkickers - headed by Bailey Glass & Sam McKenzie, both with 3 - eventually running away with a 50 point win.

The Swans were kept goalless in the second term, and adding insult to injury, have forfeited top spot on the ladder (if only on percentage).

Yack have the opportunity to cement 3rd spot and the second chance in the next month, starting favourites against Barny, Mitta, Rutherglen & Wodonga - and with Zach Leitch & Bailey Dale named this week, plus Danny Atwell, Josh Garland & Jordan Eaton to return, expect the Roos to push deep.

Barny succumbed to a consistent output by KSC, the Hawks adding 3 goals each quarter bar the last to get up by 17 points.

They've still got a mountain of work to do to climb back up the ladder after some lacklustre outings, but experienced heads in Dayle Martin & Tim Hallinan are leading the way in stringing together solid performances.

KSC have had the wood over Barny of recent, not dropping a match since their 2019 prelim capitulation.

The Hawks host the Hoppers this week - another team they've had the wood over for the last few years - but a change of fortunes could well be on the cards if they're not careful.

Wahgunyah probably wouldn't be greatly offended by their 129 point loss to Tallangatta, the positive being that they managed 17 scoring shots for 9.8 (62). But it was all one way traffic, that score not even enough to match the Hoppers first term of 10.6 (66).

James Breen on the other hand, clearly was offended at losing his position atop the goalkickers last week. His 14 goal haul has rocketed him back to number 1 with plenty of breathing room, 11 ahead of Barny's Jack Chesser (29) on 40.

The Lions should hold their heads up though, because if they can repeat that effort, they'll consider themselves half a sniff against Wodonga.

No surprises up Mt Beauty way, Wodonga cruising to an 82 point win over the Bombers.

Jay Winnell is putting together a solid season for the Saints, jagging 3 sausage rolls from the guts,  but also setting up plenty of opportunities for Ryan Coates & Dylan Nowak to both nab 4.

Whilst it's probably unlikely to be a result the likes seen against Yack or Beechy, DMB face a similar prospect this week when they head to the Cattery.

The preseason hype at Rutherglen looks like it might have been a bit overcooked, as the Cats are only averaging 53 points against sides that aren't Wahgunyah.

Whilst they were definitely unlucky to drop their matchup with Tallangatta by a point - likely down to facing off against a Brownlow Medallist - they were fortunate not to have been blown away by KSC due to inaccuracy.

They'll take care of business comfortably this weekend, but putting a score on the board against cellar dwellers won't cut it for the faithful at Barkly Park. Particularly when they only mustered a paltry 4.4 (28) against Beechworth, who pinched top spot with a 13 goal dispatching.

The Bushies on the other hand, will be full of beans when they head to Thurgoona.

A 7 goal opening term was the difference for Thurgoona, setting themselves up for the win at Eskdale.

The Mountain Men fought their way back in the 3rd, trailing by just under 3 goals at the final change, but they'd clearly spent all their chips as the Doggies pushed the margin back out to 45 points at the final siren.

Thurgoona are sitting happily in 4th at present, a kind draw favouring their early season results. Tallangatta, KSC & Barny are all breathing down their necks, and having been ruthlessly exposed by Chiltern and dropping to an undermanned Yack, their next month will be pivotal in shaping their season with Tallangatta, DMB & KSC after Beechy.

Meanwhile, Mitta have the unenviable task of facing up to a Swans outfit on the rebound.

Ovens & King Football League


“Our message during the week was about getting the first punch in and making sure we’re the ones attacking the footy"

North Wang coach Steve Manning on the Hawks opening quarter burst

North and sure did get the first punch in, along with another 6 in the first without wearing one, setting up a 78 point win over Tarrawingee.

Tyler Nanson & Damien Bradley combined for 9 goals, well fed by Matt Curtis and Sean Gales - again in the best.

The win caps a tough month for the Hawks - who had averaged just 30 points in their last 3 outings against Goorambat, Greta & Milawa, so it's really good to see them really get a hold of another battling team.

The Doggies will hopefully pull something out of the hat this week when they play host to the young Hoppers.

Moyhu jumped Milawa, taking a 13 point lead into quarter time, forcing the Dees to go it the hard way.

They were up to it though, grinding out a 45 point win, holding the Hoppers to 2 goals in each of the 2nd & 3rd, and goalless in the last. Jarryd Wallace bagged 6, Tyler Dunn put up a best on display and Simon Pane was also handy with 4 snags.

The Dees can't afford a slip up this week against Whorouly as they look to cement themselves above the Bats.

Greta's Cody Crawford took on the role of primary forward target in the absence of Frazer Judd with gusto, helping himself to 6 majors in the Blues' 92 point win over the Lions.

That haul has helped him close the gap on both Judd and overall leader Cooper Thomason - who had the week off in Bright's bye - now within 5 of the top. Jimmy McClounan also snuck forward with 4, sitting himself in the best with, guess who? Des Kelly of course.

Greta now have the week off to prepare for a massive matchup at Pioneer Park.

Benalla nearly caused a boil over against King Valley, getting within 10 points of the Roos. The Panthers clearly geared up for this one, given they took out the corresponding fixture last year in their only win of the season.

The game was a genuine arm wrestle, but the boys from Whitfield looked like the might run away with it after opening up a 3 goal lead at the last change.
Chelton Orchard and Kieran Linke battled hard to reel in the margin for the All Blacks, but it was a bridge too far, eventually falling short by 9 points.

The Panthers will be hoping to bring the same competitive edge against Goorambat this week.

Bonnie Doon escaped a scare against a Goorambat outfit who took the most of their opportunities.

With only 5 points in it at the half, the Bombers found it tough to shake the Bats, despite having +12 scoring shots. Credit to Goorambat though, simple footy is good footy, and they gave themselves every chance of the upset with pinpoint accuracy of 10.3 - Duane Haebich with 5 to creep up on the goalkicking charts.

Doon's class, led by who other than Matt Hedin, eventually proved too great though, establishing a 20 point lead in the 3rd and never letting that go.

They’ll now look to carry on their unbeaten record in a clash with King Valley.