Serious injuries to two players made the start of the season lose some of its shine.GEORDIE COWAN April 5, 2014 7:22pm
Serious neck and head injuries have soured the first day back to district football and netball players.
Former Echuca player James McQuillan was taken to hospital with concerns for his neck.
McQuillan collided with a Yarrawonga player while representing Albury in the second quarter of an Ovens and Murray Football League match.
Furthermore, Heathcote coach Grant Ford suffered a head injury early in the second quarter of the Saints’ Heathcote and District Football League match against Elmore.
Both matches were called off and recorded as draws, although the percentage is kept.
Heathcote was leading the Bloods 6.4 (40) to 2.1 (13) at Elmore Recreation Reserve when play was stopped. Josh Illarietti had kicked three goals for the Saints.
In other HDFL games, Lockington-Bamawm United overcame a scrappy contest to defeat Colbinabbin 14.12 (96) to 8.13 (61).
John Halloran was terrific for the Cats, booting three goals as well, with Lachie Collins (four goals) and Paul Hudson (three) also having an impact.
Matt Bongiovanni and Kahl Oliver were also prominent.
Alex Van Ruiswyk booted three majors for the visitors, who improved their performance after half-time, with Linton Jacobs, Lochie Sirrett and Pat O’Brien trying hard.
■ Leitchville-Gunbower got off to a terrific start for the season, defeating White Hills 18.14 (122) to 9.9 (63) at Leitchville.
Only six points separated the teams at half-time, but the Bombers kicked into gear in the second half, booting 12 goals to four.
Jake Williams, Joel Helman (five goals) and Shaun Douglass were impressive for the home side, while Jake Allport (three goals), Brad Wright and Jake Ward were the Demons’ best. Ricky Symes also kicked three goals.
■ Mt Pleasant won a thrilling encounter against last season’s runner-up Huntly at Toolleen, 14.11 (95) to 13.11 (89).
Mounts six goals to four in the final term to snatch the win under new coach Derrick Filo, with star turns coming from Matt Gretgrix (six goals), Jarrod Findlay (five goals) and Chris Black.
Matt Jeffries, Braidy Dickens and Lachie O’Toole (four goals) worked hard to almost get the Hawks over the line.
Tocumwal made a winning entrance to the Picola and District Football League north-west, defeating Blighty 12.10 (82) to 9.13 (67).
The Bloods led at every change, having set up the win with a four-goal to one second term.
Eli Boyer, Michael O’Riordan and Nathan Tresize were the best for the winners, with Dylan Flanagan kicking three goals, while Drew Plattfuss, Tristan Wilson and Matt Barker impressed for the home side.
Brad Todd and Phil Williams also kicked three majors for the Redeyes.
■ Despite a five-goal haul to Dylan Cunningham, Picola United was comprehensively defeated by Berrigan, 19.12 (126) to 10.7 (67).
The Saints won every quarter in the encounter, with Kyle Russell (four goals), Brock Gray and Chris Patten (three) impressing the most. Ron Middleton also scored three goals.
John Walker, Greg Boxall and Timon Muir were the Blues’ best.
■ Yarroweyah enjoyed a solid 37-point win away against Deniliquin Rovers, 13.15 (93) to 8.8 (56).
A five-goal to one second quarter set up the win for the Grasshoppers, with the other three terms quite even.
■ It was not a happy start to the season for Mathoura, losing to reigning premier Jerilderie. No details were available.
Shepparton Swans won a close match against Mooroopna in the season opener of the Goulburn Valley Football League, one of only two games this weekend.
The home team triumphed by nine points, 10.13 (73) to 9.10 (64), after kicking 3.8 to 1.2 in the final term to come from behind.
Justin Maddern kicked five goals for the winners.
■ Tatura plays Kyabram tomorrow.
For full match reports and details, see Monday’s Riverine Herald.
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