The Murray Bombers claimed their second win in a row to move into ninth spot on the GVFL ladder.GEORDIE COWAN June 9, 2014 3:38am
Echuca has moved off the bottom of the Goulburn Valley Football League ladder after recording its second consecutive win on Saturday.
In what was the Murray Bombers’ first win at Victoria Park since July 2012, the home team took control of the contest about 15 minutes into the first quarter and ran away to defeat Seymour 19.7 (121) to 8.12 (60).
Displaying a fluency with the ball the team has struggled to maintain at a high level this year, Echuca registered more than 50 entries into the 50m and the clean ball movement saw more than 30 marks taken inside the attacking arc.
The forwards then rewarded the good delivery from upfield to kick 19 goals from 26 scoring shots.
Simon Buckley starred in the first half, instigating play and then taking advantage when going forward as he kicked four second-term goals to finish with five.
He was then mothballed halfway during the third term in an attempt to manage his hamstring issues.
Matt Pollock was again superb through the middle, gathering 22 touches before spending much of the last quarter on the bench, while Tom Stevens also produced one of best games of the year on the wing, gathering 25 possessions and two goals.
But it was rebounding defender Joel Magnabosco who was the most impressive for the winners, combining strong leadership and accurate disposal to effectively launch Echuca’s attacks from the back line.
He was especially notable in the second half as he found the ball time and again, accumulating 27 touches.
Half-forward Nick Jackson was another to have a standout day, constantly presenting and taking marks and was rewarded for his efforts with two remarkable goals from the boundary line in the third term to finish with three.
Fellow forward Liam Wilkinson had a similar effect, also kicking three goals, while Brieghton Shea capped off his day spent mainly in the midfield and at half-back with three last-quarter majors among 18 touches.
Clayton Holmes was busy on the wing, especially in the first half, providing a lot of impetus forward in his 25 touches, while ruckman Kane Morris again impressed with a four-quarter display and midfielder Jordan Ives picked up 22 possessions.
The Lions, stripped of the services of former Sydney player Brett Meredith and captain Matt O’Keefe among five late changes, were best served by forward Saad Saad and midfielders Jason Cole and Brandyn Grenfell.
Saad played a sole hand up forward, finishing with seven of his team’s eight goals, but the flare which has long been part of his game was little to be seen as he made the most of set shots inside 40m.
Cole was notable in his efforts throughout the match, trying to provide some run and drive for his team, while Grenfell provided a good target on the wing.
On a fine day in front of a fairly strong crowd without the netball contingent, who were playing at the Echuca and District Netball Association courts, Seymour started well and dominated the stoppages to constantly put the Echuca defence under pressure.
Saad was the first to goal, but Echuca responded when Holmes intercepted a kick-out and centred the ball to Stevens, who goaled from 50m.
Saad was the beneficiary of a free-kick in the goal-square after a battle broke out far from the ball on the wing, when Echuca players ran to Buckley’s aid as he battled with two taggers.
The visitors then produced the best move of the day, basically running the ball down the field to find Saad yet again.
Still struggling with the clearances, the back line, marshalled by Brendan Prendergast and helped by young players Mitch Hore, Matt Hay and Will Monahan, started to respond better.
Pollock was the next to goal from 50m after a good passage of play by Echuca, before Buckley took advantage of a gap in the midfield to waltz through the centre and find Jackson at the back of the pack to give the team a 25-21 quarter-time lead.
Buckley showed how damaging he can be at the start of the second term, extracting the ball out of the middle and goaling from 50m.
As the home team started to take control of the clearances, Buckley converted well from 45m, before Jackson showed composure in the midfield to find Wilkinson, who kicked accurately.
A bit of Saad magic ended a six-goal run from Echuca, dribbling home a shot from the pocket before having to hurdle the fence, but it was the visitors’ only highlight for the quarter.
Buckley and Wilkinson doubled their earlier efforts in the term as the Murray Bombers took a 32-point lead into the long break.
After a stern talking to from coach Brent Colbert, Seymour came out looking to come back and goaled first through Dylan Scopel, but Jackson replied with a shot from next to the behind post, with the ball floating through after jamming it onto his foot.
With the game becoming a bit scrappier, Echuca used the switch to good effect and pushed on to lead by 46 points at the last break and booted another five goals to two in the final term as it won by 61 points.
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