Swans senior footballers brave against Murchison.CHALPAT SONTI September 3, 2014 3:27am
It took 10 years for Avenel’s senior football side to qualify for finals again, but just five minutes for hopes of a second week in the big time to suffer a fatal blow.
That was when key defender Mick Dundon left the field injured against Murchison, and while Avenel still dominated the first quarter to take a three-goal lead into the first break against a side that hadn’t played for three weeks, the lack of depth was beginning to haunt the Swans.
When Don Stirling got knocked out not too long after, the Grasshoppers pounced in the elimination final at Violet Town, booting nine goals in the second term to be on track for another big win.
But Avenel hasn’t been fighting all season for nothing and, with Stirling returning to play out the game, made a good fist of the game after the long break.
Then, helped by the yellow-carding of Murchison’s Jake Rennie early in the final term, there was some hope of overhauling the seven-goal deficit before the reigning premiers sparked enough into life to win by 33 points.
All things considered, in what was sometimes a flat game for an elimination final, the Swans can’t be too unhappy after copping a pasting against the same side just a few weeks earlier.
And the stand-out, particularly in the first half, was yet again midfielder Michael Morgan. But when Stirling went off it caused a reshuffle, and a match-up the Swans needed was no longer there. At that stage Stirling had the better of Grasshoppers star Chris Cullinan but his absence saw the latter come into the game more. It also put more pressure on Morgan, who was assigned a heavy tag after half-time.
Swans player-coach Cameron Gillett, who along with the club is busy recruiting for next year, knows that depth is what he has to fill.
‘‘That’s the importance of having key mids in there,’’ he said.
‘‘Particularly against the good sides, that’s where they get all their drive.’’
Avenel’s second-quarter fade-out has also happened plenty of times this year.
‘‘We’ve started really well and blown good sides out of the water, but once they get a run on the boys start to panic a little bit,’’ Gillett said.
‘‘But I was happy with the boys at the end. At three-quarter-time I said that no matter what happened they had to keep fighting, and we finished off well and they walked off the ground with a bit of pride. At the end of the day it’s a big effort for the club and it’s a stepping stone for next year.
‘‘With another pre-season they’ll have that belief that they can match it with the best. I still think (Murchison) are the best side in the comp and when we kicked five goals to one in the first quarter, why can’t we keep doing that?’’
The Swans will probably start the pre-season later than 2014, with late-November pencilled in. With new recruits and the enthusiasm generated from this year, Gillett said he was hopeful of much better numbers for early training ‘‘knowing we can play finals footy’’.
Murchison1.6, 10.11, 13.17, 16.19 (115)
Avenel5.1, 7.1, 8.3, 13.4 (82)
A tree is down near the Boulevard and Jordan Place in Shepparton.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
CERES will be moving to a new rhythm on June 10 when Melbourne’s Andrew Swift is joined by the Weeping Willows for a series of performances.
CONSTRUCTION of Rochester’s gym is well into the swing of things, with concrete walls erected early last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
RENEWAL works have resumed on the Coliban Main Channel this month.
For most 10-year-olds, mischievous isn’t a word often found in their vocabulary, let alone having the ability to spell it correctly. But for Cobram Anglican Grammar Year 5 student Cadence Pang, it’s all in a day’s work.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.