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Pigeons win wintry clash

The Yarrawonga Pigeons have recorded a 23 point victory against the Wodonga Bulldogs at John Flower Oval in Wodonga.

STEPHEN HICKS May 13, 2014 3:31pm

The Pigeons kicked out to a 21 point lead at the first change and were never headed in the clash. Led by Drew Barnes, the Pigeons battled the weather and a gallant Bulldogs team to go to the top of the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League ladder.

The game started in tragic circumstances with Jarryd Whinray forced from the ground with a serious knee injury just four minutes into the game. The highs and lows of football occurred within five minutes; after losing Whinray, Brandon Symes climbed high in front of the grandstand to take his weekly towering mark sitting atop two Bulldog opponents.

The Pigeons dominated early possession and through a solid defence the Pigeons rebounded.

The likes of Jeremy O’Brien, Ross Mulquiney, Logan Morey and Scott Oswald were impenetrable and pinpoint with possessions.

Drew Barnes was the Pigeons battering ram, busting packs and driving the Pigeons forward with regularity. Brendan Fevola kicked the Pigeons opening goal after a few near misses; although it took 14 minutes to register the goal.

Tyler Bonat and Ed Bayles were attacking the football and winning crucial possessions, and this led to Kayne Pettifer kicking a banana goal just a minute later to see the Pigeons gathering the advantage on the scoreboard.

Ross Mulquiney was a rock in defence and was saving the Pigeons. His rebounding links with Oswald, Craig Ednie and Luke Ednie saw Fevola kick his second goal of the game.

Wodonga were able to get on the scoreboard through Sinclair into the time on period of the first quarter; but Jacob Adkins squared the ledger with a brilliant running goal to see the Pigeons lead by 21 points at the first break.

With persistent rain falling, the lights were turned on, and Wodonga started to match it with the Pigeons, kicking the first two goals of the term, through Wodonga’s best players in Pratt and Dylan Beattie. Beattie is the Grandson of YFNC 1959 Premiership player Tom Beattie.

Barnes and Oswald continued to winning the hard ball and drive the Pigeons forward to swing the balance back in the Pigeons favour. While Brandon Symes was the dominant big man all over the ground.

Drew Barnes kicked a goal in the time on period and it was followed up by Fevola kicking his third goal. The Pigeons led by 23 points at half time.

The third term was an arm wrestle, with only three goals kicked.

The Pigeons kicked the opening two goals of the term in the first 3 minutes through Luke Ednie and Fevola. Ednie marked strongly 2 on 1 in the goal square.

Wodonga kicked a goal through Pratt at the nine minute mark. From this point, the two teams battled it out in worsening conditions, and along with Barnes, it was the Pigeon youngsters who stood tall. Logan Morey continues to excel at O&M level, while Mark Athanitis, Bronson Schofield and Damon Symes were winning important disposals.

The margin at the final break was 27 points in the Pigeons favour.

The final term saw the Bulldogs lead the scoring. The Pigeons kicked three points, while the Bulldogs dominated the scoring kicking seven behinds to win the quarter but lose the game by 23 points. A number of scuffles took place but it was frustration at the standard of umpiring that was causing the most angst. The final siren was a welcome sound for both teams who were out on their feet.

The Pigeons will return to the J C Lowe Oval this Saturday to take on arch rivals Wangaratta Rovers.

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