Merrigum has withstood the pressure of a determined young Avenel outfit to win by 35 points in Kyabram District Football League.OLIVER CAFFREY June 30, 2014 3:10am
Merrigum showed Avenel it still has a way to go to match it with the top four.
The Bulldogs proved too good for the Swans, running away with a 35-point Kyabram District Football League win after an even opening term.
The improving Swans came into the contest on the back of four straight wins and were keen to test themselves against one of the premiership favourites.
But the Bulldogs took full advantage of the breeze in the second quarter to open up a 25-point lead before building towards their ninth win of the season.
Merrigum coach Christian Barnett said he was relieved to edge out the visitors.
‘‘Avenel’s intent was solid all the way through the four quarters, we had opportunities early in the game, but we were able to manage the conditions well because nothing’s pretty in those type of conditions,’’ Barnett said.
‘‘We stressed before the game they are a quality side and the momentum they would bring to the table was a bit of a worry, but we worked really well together to shut them down and maintain pressure.
‘‘We were happy to have the lead when the rain came in and things got a bit tricky and slippery.’’
Multiple Bulldogs best and fairest Chris Kilmartin played a key role at centre half forward, finishing with five goals. Rohan Hearn, Ramadan Yze and Dave Matthews worked tirelessly.
‘‘It was just one of those really solid wins, the ground was heavy all day but was rapt with how the boys finished off and we’ve got some challenges ahead now,’’ Barnett said.
Nathan Thomas led the Swans’ goal-kickers with three, while Josh McDonald, Lachie McKenzie, Michael Morgan and Ryan Lambert played well.
The Swans host Undera in a potentially season-defining game this Saturday, while the Bulldogs face Longwood before a top-four battle against Murchison the week after.
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