Echuca has the winning feeling and wants more of it after overcoming Shepparton in a Goulburn Valley Football League arm wrestle on Saturday.MATTHEW GALEA June 2, 2014 3:10am
For the first time this season, Echuca felt that winning feeling.
The Murray Bombers defeated Shepparton by three points at Deakin Reserve on Saturday and coach Andrew Briggs said it was a feeling he hoped his side would not have to wait so long for again.
‘‘It’s a good feeling, it’s what you work for,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘Hopefully we get a bit more of that because the first three games were really good, but the work-rate dropped off after that.
‘‘Everyone just played their role and did the right thing.’’
While the result was the same as last year’s clash, the similarities stopped there.
This game was a much more engaging and competitive battle and while it certainly wasn’t the most polished game of football, it was not short on courage.
He was on the losing side but Nick Allan best demonstrated those qualities, bearing the brunt of some heavy attention after a brilliant first quarter in which he won four of the Bears’ clearances alone.
His limited impact on the game after that was thanks largely in part to teenager Fraser Monahan, who was shifted from tagging Dan Willis after the Shepparton forward kicked two opening quarter goals.
Monahan was dogged in his efforts and demonstrated plenty of discipline, while Clayton Holmes demonstrated similar qualities when he moved to Willis in his absence from the backline.
It was the Murray Bombers’ senior heads who really shone though.
Simon Buckley was back to his best with three goals, Kane Morris was brilliant in the ruck against Ash Holland and Matt Pollock was ever present.
‘‘Those guys stood up, made the right decisions at the right time,’’ Briggs said.
‘‘Bucks’ game today was great. He got a bit of attention today but worked through that.’’
The game itself was topsy-turvy. Echuca took a one-point lead into quarter-time, while the Bears led narrowly at the next two changes, but it was the Murray Bombers who edged it by full-time.
Bears coach Brad Campbell said while there were positives to take, there was no denying this was a case of four points missed.
‘‘We viewed this as a winnable game. It was 50-50 and the score and a lot of the stats reflected that,’’ Campbell said.
‘‘It came down to who would take their opportunities and who would stand up and I think Echuca’s leaders did that better than ours in the end.
‘‘We rolled the dice too much today in a lot of situations which shot ourselves in the foot, but they defended pretty well and closed down our key players.’’
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