Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Strathmerton and Yarroweyah meet in PDFNL derby

Two neighouring towns do battle in Picola and District Football Netball League action this weekend.

ROB HENSON May 7, 2014 3:15am

Slick footy: Strathmerton's John Luci tries to grasp the ball in front of Yarroweyah's Damien Kent



Neighbours become rivals this weekend as Yarroweyah takes on Strathmerton in the Picola and District Football Netball League’s North-West Division.

Strathmerton will play host to the fierce fixture and senior coach Shaun Downie said the rivalry had remained strong for a number of years.

Downie said many of the players would be friends off the field, but there would be no quarter given on their home ground.

‘‘They’ve had a pretty good start to the year, they’re in with a chance, but we can’t take any side lightly,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re definitely improved in the last couple of years.

‘‘We’re confident, as long as we play our style of footy to the best of our abilities.’’

Yarroweyah is not to be underestimated, having a comparatively dream start to 2014, after being crowned last year’s wooden spooners.

But two wins for three losses this year have seen the away side slowly slip to the bottom half of the ladder.

Playing away against last year’s runner-up in the competition should be a stern challenge for the Hoppers.

In round six and with only four points separating the sides on the ladder there will be everything to play for.

Downie said with a few players exiting and entering his starting line-up, a similar strength side will hit the park on Saturday.

‘‘If people are free and want to watch a good game of footy, come down.’’

Strathmerton is now second on the ladder after defeating Berrigan by 152 points last weekend.

‘‘It was an excellent win,” Downie said.

‘‘We got off to a good start and from there never really let them back into the contest.’’

The ’Dogs more than doubled their hosts’ score in the first stanza, and held the grip on the game, keeping their opponents scoreless in the second.

The away side then kicked five goals in the third and 11 in the last to run away with a commanding confidence-boosting win.

Yarroweyah’s good form received a reality check on Saturday after a 72-point loss to last year’s premier Jerilderie.

At their home ground the Hoppers put in a strong fight, kicking three goals to Jerilderie’s six in the first quarter.

But the away side maintained its momentum, taking a 43-point lead into half-time.

After ending round three placed fourth on the ladder, Yarroweyah seniors slipped to sixth, then seventh, after successive losses.

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