With help from Finley’s Reid Crowe, Murray Football League was able to defeat interleague rivals Sunraysia at Mildura’s City Oval on Saturday.May 28, 2014 3:38am
Finley onballer Reid Crowe (seated, far right at front) played a big part in the Murray League’s interleague win on Saturday. Photo: Clancy Shipsides, Sunraysia Daily.
Finley’s Reid Crowe helped Murray Football League turn the tide against interleague rivals Sunraysia with a gutsy 13-point win at Mildura’s City Oval on Saturday.
Echuca United’s Farran Priest led the way as Murray turned around a 100-point deficit suffered two years earlier, to prevail in a hard-fought slog, 13.8
The victory marked Scott Beattie’s second win as interleague coach and a huge step forward in Murray’s rise up the Country Championship rankings.
Murray moved to eighth position on the rankings and sit about two or three spots shy of Beattie’s ultimate goal.
‘‘After the last trip up here, that’s when we identified that something had to be done,’’ Beattie said post-match.
‘‘Sure, we’re two from two in the last two years, but we’ve turned around a 100-point deficit into a win.
‘‘Saying that, we’ve now got guys who are committed to interleague footy, who understand the pride that goes into the jumper and who are playing for all the right reasons.
‘‘Interleague is alive and well and back where it belongs.’’
Beattie’s charges started slowly, allowing Sunraysia to slam on three goals within the first 10 minutes of the opening term.
Murray had its fair share of possession, but poor disposal proved costly as chances went begging with only three behinds managed before Murray kicked its first goal.
It came through Numurkah’s Brent Chapman, who started on the bench.
Chapman kicked truly from a set shot, then snapped well to convert a second as Murray started to wrestle the momentum away from Sunraysia.
Sunraysia’s five-point lead at quarter-time quickly diminished as Murray’s former AFL talent, Damien Cupido and Brad Dick, came to the fold.
On the wrong side of a few umpiring decisions in the opening term, Cupido found some clear space to kick his first while Dick made the most of three chances — one a dribbling goal from the boundary — to help Murray to a 17-point advantage at the main break.
Boasting superior run, spread and carry, Murray sustained the three-goal margin during the third term, with goals from Leon Johnson and Jackson Gash answering a goal from Sunraysia forward John Coleman (three goals).
Trailing by 17 points at three-quarter-time, Sunraysia lifted to be within eight points, courtesy of two consecutive goals from full-forward Troy Moncur.
Fourth on the Sunraysia Football League’s goal-kicking tally, Moncur had been well held by Barooga’s Matt Demaio since kicking the first of the game.
Moncur’s three majors for the afternoon equalled Coleman’s haul, but the duo’s overall impact was limited, as was Sunraysia’s own AFL talent in Shannon Motlop (two goals).
It was a different story at the other end with Dick’s impact on the game proving telling.
The first and last goal of the quarter came from the silky forward’s boot and ultimately sealed Sunraysia’s fate.
Cupido was another key figure in Murray’s forward half, kicking two goals, but was well below his imposing best and beaten by Sunraysia full-back Brendan Rhodes.
Beattie said Priest was Murray’s workhorse while his midfield troupe of Crowe, Dean Moon, Barooga’s Will Gorman and Bryn Barnes-Webb were sound in support.
Demaio, David Ismail, Dan Bowles, John Timeapatau and Murray skipper Ryan Prendergast controlled the backline and was one of the key reasons behind Murray’s win.
For Sunraysia, captain Brad Hards was rewarded with a best-on medallion for a stellar performance through the middle. Luck Sicker, Simon Callahan, Jordan Bates and Jesse Vallance were also solid contributors.
■ MFL Under-18 results page 19
■ Picola League results page 18
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