A first half blitz set up an eight-point win for Echuca against Euroa in the Goulburn Valley Football League on Saturday.LUKE MCMANUS July 28, 2014 3:04am
Echuca’s opening half against Euroa on Saturday received plenty of praise from coach Andrew Briggs. Echuca’s second half, not so much.
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Echuca was ‘‘outstanding’’ during the opening two quarters in which the Magpies, who defeated the Murray Bombers in round 10, were held goalless.
Echuca applied defensive pressure — the main reason behind Euroa’s 0.9 scoreline — while applying some scoreboard pressure at the other end to boot seven goals, including five in the second term.
Briggs was stoked with a 39-point lead at half-time.
‘‘We were able to do a lot of things we’ve been practising at training,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘Our stoppage work was great and tackling pressure forced them out wide to take shots from the boundary.
‘‘They probably had two or three shots in the first five minutes of the game and we were able to peg that back.
‘‘Our inside 50s in the second half was 14-4 and that resulted in scores on the board.
‘‘We were dangerous through the middle of the ground and propelled the ball through that area instead of around the boundary.
‘‘It was the most pleasing half of footy all season.’’
Briggs described the opening half as a ‘‘collective effort’’, which ultimately diminished after the main change as Euroa fought back.
Only two goals in the third quarter preceded a goalless fourth term as Echuca’s structure fell apart.
‘‘We weren’t organised,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘A few structures went out the window when the pressure was one.’’
Fortunately for the home side, the damage had already been inflicted.
Focusing on Echuca’s stellar first half, Joel Magnabosco’s foray in the middle of the ground provided another string to the midfield division’s bow.
Magnabosco’s (one goal) skills and decision-making was imperative to Echuca’s ability to score, with Nick Jackson (two goals) along with several other goal-kickers capitalising.
Briggs was also impressed with the emergence of a few younger players in Jordan Ives, George Preston, Will O’Sullivan and Patrick Connally.
‘‘Patty put some pressure on, he showed great pace and contributed really well,’’ Briggs said.
For Euroa, Nick Gilliland (two goals) started with intent but was well shut down by Echuca defender Matt Hay, while James Ivill, Alex Carter and Max Gleeson were also solid.
Nine goals from the Magpies’ Chris McKay led the charge as Euroa restricted Echuca to just one goal in the second half while adding nine to its own scoreline.
Sam Hartley and Kale Wilson were best-on-ground for Echuca, while Brad Jones booted two goals.
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