All three Murray Bombers football sides won on Saturday for the first time in 37 months.LUKE MCMANUS June 23, 2014 3:32am
Echuca Football Club had plenty of reasons to celebrate on Saturday after the Murray Bombers’ seniors, reserves and under 18s claimed respective wins against Mansfield.
Echuca’s clean sweep was the club’s first treble since round six 2011, with the Murray Bombers’ 13.13 (91) to 11.8 (74) senior triumph on the weekend capping off two strong wins from the seconds and thirds.
If the result failed to surprise the many supporters and stakeholders enjoying the festivities at Victoria Park, which included a sponsors day, then the shock inclusion of coach Andrew Briggs would have definitely turned some heads.
Briggs, playing his first game since 2011, was a late, but pre-planned inclusion, and he chimed in with two goals for the afternoon, as the ninth-placed Murray Bombers took full advantage of a good start to hold on by 17 points.
‘‘It was really good to be out there, just to offer some support and direction,’’ Briggs said, who last week signed a one-year contract extension.
‘‘It’s something that we’d spoken about for a number of weeks and we thought this weekend was the right time.
‘‘It won’t be every week, I don’t have the ability to that, it’ll be a week to week thing.
‘‘It’s good to be out there and get an understanding of how we go about it on-field.’’
Echuca could have blown Mansfield out of the water in the first quarter, but missed some chances in front of goal, allowing the Eagles to stay within striking distance.
Echuca kicked 3.9 to Mansfield’s 1.0 to take a 21-point lead into quarter-time, a margin which was pegged back in the second term after Mansfield’s responded to an almighty spray from coach Simon Dolling.
Briggs said the inaccuracy shadowed a really positive first quarter.
‘‘Our start was really good,’’ he said.
‘‘The ball spent 21 minutes in our forward half and I think we had 10 tackles inside 50.
‘‘That was really good to see and one of our main focuses during the week.
‘‘We just couldn’t finish off.’’
The Eagles kicked four goals to two ahead of the main break which cut the margin back to just seven points.
Echuca managed to edge away in the second half to secure the four points, despite Mansfield challenging the home side multiple times.
Simon Buckley was a ball magnet and stood up in the absence of co-captains Matt Pollock, who was serving a one-week suspension for striking, and the injured Sam Toulmin.
Buckley was one of the beneficiaries from another notable Kane Morris performance.
Morris’ battle with Mansfield counterpart Mark Jones was a highlight of the match, with Morris’ 20 hitouts servicing the likes of on-ballers Buckley and Tom Stevens.
Small forward Brieghton Shea spent some time in the middle of the ground and was one of the key men who ignited Echuca’s strong start.
Shea finished the day with three goals and with Echuca’s best-on-ground nod.
‘‘That was Brieghton’s most consistent four-quarter effort,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘Around the stoppages early he was superb.
‘‘He has a good centre of gravity and knows how to protect the ball
‘‘He has a damaging right foot on him as well.’’
Ben Fagan was Mansfield’s best across the ground and in front of goal, finishing the afternoon with five majors, while Guy Taylor and David Clarke were notable contributors.
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Nationals leader Peter Walsh are expected to make a significant and long-awaited bridge announcement tomorrow.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
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