Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ready to rumble

Cobram and Barooga football netball clubs all set for Friday's 'battle of the bridge'.

ROB HENSON April 17, 2014 3:45am

Arms up: Tiger Scott Spencer challenges at the ball up.



Cobram and Barooga’s top football squads will be playing for pride when the cross-river rivalry fires up this Friday.

A bumper crowd is expected for the local derby, to be hosted at Barooga Recreation Reserve, kicking off at 2.10pm.

Last year Cobram demolished Barooga in a 105-point win at Scott Oval.

But 12 months on, with an overhaul to their regular line-up in the off season, a fresh Tigers seniors side will be out to prove themselves after a 122-point loss to Nathalia in round one.

Finishing second-last on the ladder last year, Barooga has started 2014 full of confidence after a 58-point win over Moama last week.

But Barooga coach Leigh Ramsdale said he wouldn’t be underestimating Cobram.

‘‘They’ve got a first year coach and large turnover, it’s hard to get a gauge, but we won’t be judging them. We understand what it’s like,’’ Ramsdale said.

‘‘The boys are obviously looking forward to the game, and we pump it up for what it is, while putting it in perspective.’’

The assistant coach for interleague last year has arrived at Barooga with an invigorated list of players this year that focuses on local talent.

‘‘We’ve picked up a few, coming from the bottom of the ladder (last year),’’ he said.

‘‘We were targeting young kids in the area, 17 to 23-year-olds in a 50km radius, aiming for a bit of sustained success.’’

Meanwhile Cobram coach Daniel McIntyre said the Hawks were ‘‘probably a top-four side’’ this season.

‘‘The amount of recruits they’ve brought in, they’ve brought in some top quality players,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got to focus on ourselves more importantly.’’

McIntyre said a lack of commitment, partly due to a new group of players yet to gel, was part of the reason for last week’s poor display at home.

Possible inclusions for the Tigers this week include Tom Mogg from the Bushrangers, Dion Metzner who received an injury over the weekend, and Harry King.

McIntyre got his first taste of the Cobram-Barooga rivalry last year as assistant coach, before stepping up to the top job this year.

‘‘It’s the biggest crowd of the whole year and I think everyone tries to lift the level,’’ he said.

‘‘Especially in recent years it’s been pretty fiery; I’ll be expecting our boys go out and not take a backwards step.’’

Murray Football League general manager Dale Norman said the first round had got off to a ‘‘sensational’’ start and he was looking forward to the Good Friday clash.

‘‘The results aren’t really a suprise, with a lot of unknowns and a lot of turnover in the league,’’ Norman said.

‘‘We’ve had great feedback and crowds were excellent.’’

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