Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ranges have edge on Bushrangers

Murray Bushrangers were brave against Eastern Ranges under lights on Saturday night, but were unable to get over the top of the Ranges.

DAMEN FRANCIS April 28, 2014 3:05am

Bushrangers forward Brody Webster kicked two goals in the loss to Eastern Ranges to continue his solid start to the season.

TAC Cup night football was a success, even if Murray Bushrangers did not get the points at Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta on Saturday night.

The Bushrangers showed plenty of pluck against reigning premier Eastern Ranges, but ultimately went down by 17 points.

The Ranges boasted plenty of firepower, led by mobile ruck-forward Chris Jones and Samuel Weideman, but Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier said his players’ efforts were commendable.

‘‘There wasn’t much in it for inside 50s, but they certainly scored easier than we did,’’ Ogier said.

‘‘We battled and battled and they got it up their end and got a goal.

‘‘Lots of goals came from our mistakes, be it turnovers, decision-making or ball handling.

‘‘At the end of the day we still haven’t put together a full game of footy.’’

The host side trailed by one straight kick at quarter-time and slipped further behind in the second term, with the Ranges cashing in on their chances.

In-form AFL draft hopeful Nathan Drummond continued his stellar run of performances, with another three-goal performance, including a crucial goal midway through the third term.

The marauding Mooroopna player stormed through the middle of the ground, collected the contested ball, took the opposition on with a couple of running bounces and drilled the goal from 50m.

The goal lifted his team, which was starting to lose touch and they got the margin back to three goals at three-quarter time.

The Bushrangers won the last quarter, but were only able to close the gap by one point as the two teams traded blows in the final term.

Injury-ravaged Benalla key position player Caleb Marchbank not only got through his first game in 14 months unscathed, but impressed by setting up play off half-back, before rolling forward and kicking a goal in the second half.

Euroa’s Nate Trotter made his Bushrangers’ debut under the 23rd man rule and found his feet as the game wore on.

‘‘The pace caught him out a bit to start with, but he caught up and was pretty good,’’ Ogier said.

Dan Howe, Mitch Mahady, Isaac Muller, and Nick Mellington were also in the best, while Brody Webster kicked two goals.

Howe and Dylan McDonald suffered concussion, with the latter expected to miss a week.

Ogier said the night football concept was well received and hoped to see more of it in the future.

‘‘It was totally different, but it was really good. Great venue, lots of people and the footy played was good one-on-one contests and was a good showcase of TAC Cup footy,’’ Ogier said.

The Bushrangers are sixth on the ladder.

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