Tatura proved too strong for Echuca in the Goullburn Valley Football League clash on Saturday.GEORDIE COWAN April 21, 2014 3:32am
A classy midfield and greater efficiency with the ball was the difference between Echuca and Tatura at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Murray Bombers stuck with the visiting Bulldogs until half-time, but Tatura’s on-ball brigade then stepped up a level to put the result beyond doubt, eventually winning 12.10
The class of players such as James Sullivan, Rian McGough (two goals), captain Billy Lovel (two goals), Chris Ryan and Shannon Broadbent was influential in the final result, which saw the team win the first three quarters of the match.
Matt Pollock tried hard throughout for Echuca, while 18-year-old Clayton Holmes again impressed in defence with good run and disposal, both with 26 touches.
Ben Reid impressed in the midfield and up forward and ruckman Kane Morris was good again.
Matt Hay did a solid job at full-back, with Jordan Florance taking many marks in defence, while Jack Sheldon was good in the first half and Jordan Ives and Ashley Carmody impressed in the second half.
Brieghton Shea was the team’s only multiple goal-kicker, with his second major in the last quarter particularly memorable.
A hamstring injury to co-captain Sam Toulmin saw him limp off before half-time, adding further woes to the depleted Echuca list already missing Simon Buckley, Josh Edgar, Dylan Friedberger and Joel Magnabosco.
With an interested Kyabram contingent — including former Murray Bombers Jordan Williams and Tom Sheldon — looking ahead of its clash against Echuca on Friday night, Tatura started the better with James Wall and Lovel from 55m pushing the Bulldogs out to a 13-point lead.
Echuca struggled to get the ball forward of centre, with poor disposal going through half-forward throughout the match, which allowed the tall Tatura defenders to mark or spoil quite easily.
Reid kicked Echuca’s first goal for the day in the 23rd minute after winning a one-on-one contest from a Shea long kick, as the home team trailed 14-6 at the first break.
Tatura started the second quarter perfectly, with Matt Ryan converting following a pass from Tom Sullivan.
Liam Wilkinson replied for the Murray Bombers but the lead was extended once again when Sonny Whiting converted a free kick chance.
An Echuca centre square infringement — for the second time in the match — led to Lovel running in to kick his second goal, before another centre clearance led to a Chris Ryan major and Tatura had suddenly kicked three goals in three minutes.
Trailing by 27 points, Echuca responded late in the quarter with a set shot from Shea and Pollock converting a long bomb to see the score at 41-26 at the long break.
Tim Lanyon and Tom Stevens exchanged goals early in the third term, but then the Bulldogs took over.
The visitors kicked the remaining four goals in the quarter to lead 75-33 at the last break.
Many of the team’s attacks stemmed from its good work around the clearances, often finding loose players behind the pack rather than scrambling the ball forward as Echuca did, kicking the ball straight into the arms of their opponents.
The Bulldogs’ defence was also important to the team’s attack, often switching the ball to good effect and hard running seeing their players create space further down the ground.
Echuca coach Andrew Briggs blasted his players at the change, noting a 24-8 loss in the contested ball numbers during the third term and asked his players to reverse that statistic and go one-on-one.
The Murray Bombers started promisingly, with a good team move resulting in a goal to Carmody, while Shea’s magnificent snap for goal was the highlight of the quarter as the team lost by 36 points.
The Bulldogs shot out to a 17-point lead at the first break but the Murray Bombers responded to lead by half-time.
The visitors then led by seven points at the final change before both teams kicked two goals in the last quarter.
Alex Steeper (two goals), Layton McCann and Marcus Smith impressed for the home side, with Dylan Keeley kicking three goals.
Corey Mallon, Jack Ritchie and Anthony Poppa were Tatura’s best.
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