Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bushrangers' finals dreams alive

Murray Bushrangers have conquered Eastern Ranges to leap into the top eight and keep their TAC Cup finals hopes alive.

GEORGINA CAHILL August 18, 2014 3:05am

The Murray Bushrangers’ finals hopes are alive after a must-win clash against Eastern Ranges on Saturday.

A loss would have put the Bushies’ TAC Cup finals campaign on the back foot, but the 20-point win has elevated the side to eighth on the ladder.

The Bushies spent Friday night in Melbourne ahead of the 11am start at Box Hill City Oval and coach Darren Ogier said it paid dividends.

‘‘The first quarter was the best quarter we’ve played all year. That was very pleasing,’’ Ogier said.

The Bushies came out firing in the opening-quarter to lead by 27 points at the first break.

Ogier said errors from his side let Eastern Ranges into the game in the second quarter.

The Bushies held an eight-point lead at the main break, but a third-quarter attack spearheaded by Nathan Drummond and Nick Mellington helped their side to a 28-point lead at three-quarter time.

Eastern Ranges fought hard to stay in the game, but the Bushies ran away with a 20-point round 17 win.

‘‘The third quarter really set it up, but the last quarter was a pretty good battle,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘It was sort of 50-50, but the damage had been done in that third quarter. It was fantastic and a really deserving win.’’

In his second TAC Cup match, Mooroopna’s Jy Simpkin was outstanding.

Simpkin booted four goals much to Ogier’s delight.

‘‘He played on the wing early on then he moved forward. He was electric up there,’’ Ogier said.

Simpkin’s Mooroopna teammate Drummond was best on ground, while Mellington was damaging through the midfield.

Debutant Wil Brodie, 15, booted two goals and didn’t at all look out of place.

Luke Hannon and highly rated AFL draft prospect Christian Petracca worked hard for Eastern Ranges, while Chris Jones was their major goal-scorer with three.

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