Benalla was too strong for Echuca on the weekend, defeating the Murray Bombers by 59 points.LUKE MCMANUS May 5, 2014 3:05am
Simon Buckley’s successful return to Echuca’s midfield was overshadowed by the Murray Bombers’ 59-point loss to Benalla on Saturday.
Buckley was a standout in the team’s 16.16
Echuca coach Andrew Briggs said the 2013 best and fairest winner led from the front despite little support.
‘‘Bucks is really important to our side, in terms of leadership and educating our younger guys,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘He was down in form in terms of what he’s capable of but that will come with more game time and when the likes of him, Matty Pollock and Tom Stevens get some support from the blokes around them.’’
Buckley shone alongside Jordan Florance and Joel Magnabosco in a relatively disappointing afternoon for Echuca at Victoria Park.
Florance marked strongly and was a presence across half-back, dishing off many times to Magnabosco, whose superior decision-making and ball use impressed the first-year coach once again.
‘‘Our blokes need to take a leaf out of his book,’’ Briggs said of Magnabosco.
Trailing by 16 points at quarter-time, Benalla ran away with the game in the second term, booting five goals to one to take a 45-point lead into half-time.
Playing catch-up football has not been Echuca’s strong point in season 2014 and, against the undefeated Saints, struggled to claw its way back despite an improved showing.
Benalla edged even further ahead with a four-goal third term with Will Martiniello and Lachlan Smith running rampant.
Nick Warnock and Shayne McKean kicked three goals each while Liam Wilkinson and Pollock kicked two goals apiece for Echuca.
‘‘We could really learn from Benalla in how they use the ball and spread,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘They showed exactly how you rebound after the ball’s turned over.’’
Echuca squared the ledger in the last quarter which gave Briggs some positive reinforcement ahead of the team’s split-round bye.
It has been a tough start to the season, with Echuca playing four of last year’s finalists to open the season, with another tough ask against Shepparton United when the season resumes.
Briggs is riding the storm, hoping gradual improvement and a ‘‘consistent four-quarter effort’’ will eventually yield the team’s first win since round nine, 2013.
After taking the lead in the second quarter, Echuca looked poised to run away to its first win of the season after enjoying a nine-point lead at the final change.
The Saints however upped their pressure and kicked 2.4 to 1.1 in the last to draw the match.
Brad Jones and Dylan Keely kicked two each for the Murray Bombers, while George Preston was judged best afield for the home side.
For Benalla, Peter Symes finished with two goals with Dylan Pastuszka and Sam Creamer proving the difference.
Two men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.