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.
Murray Football League is looking to continue its interleague revival after announcing its squad for the AFL Victoria Country Championships.
The last day of racing before the lake lowering produced results that reflected the skills of the most capable sailors.
Greater Shepparton City Councillors have voted in favour of a new land subdivision in Tatura.
Wayne Hamilton will umpire senior football game number 504 on Saturday, setting a new Goulburn Valley Football Umpires’ Association record.
Rochester’s female business heads met Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh on Thursday to discuss businesses and community issues in the district.
Biggest Morning Tea facelift
Nagambie and Avenel ratepayers unhappy after learning Strathbogie Shire Council's new plans for rubbish collection.
Although Tocumwal's Dan Ryan is in Nepal, he was not in the path of the disastrous earthquake.
The 2015 Harold Baigent Memorial Art Exhibition was a big success for Heathcote Lions Club on the weekend.
Popular Cobram tourist area Scotts Beach will now remain open to campers during a 12 month consultation with Parks Victoria.
The first round of Deniliquin Netball Association’s winter competition on Saturday brought warm weather and eager netballers.
The University of Melbourne’s 2000 ha rural property at Dookie will be profitable and serve an important role as a teaching and research site, the new farm committee chairman said.
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.