Echuca United coach Scott Beattie was a happy man on Saturday after his depleted Eagles were able to overcome previously undefeated Finley.DAMEN FRANCIS May 19, 2014 3:15am
An understrength Echuca United flexed its considerable premiership muscle with a 26-point win against previously unbeaten Murray Football League ladder-leader Finley on Saturday.
Josh Rankin was a late withdrawal for the clash at Echuca South Recreation Reserve, ruck-key forward Ash Kirchhofer also didn’t play and the home side was still without Rowan Priest and Toby Gilmour.
‘‘We didn’t have our best side in, but I thought we controlled the game after quarter-time,’’ Eagles coach Scott Beattie said.
‘‘It’s certainly an upside that we were able to beat an unbeaten side without our best team.’’
The opening term was a genuine arm-wrestle, with both sides managing just three behinds between them.
The game opened up in the second term, with the Eagles holding a four-point lead at the main break.
Finley had its chances in the third term, but Echuca United won the term by four points and kicked away in the last.
Farran Priest’s five goals proved the difference as far as the scoreboard was concerned, but it was the work of Russell Eden, Ryan Prendergast, Brad Sanderson and co in the Eagles’ back six that was the key to taking the points.
The Cats boast three dangerous talls in Tom Seccull, Tim Robertson and Doug McLean, but they managed just one goal each for the day.
‘‘It might look like they had a lot of points, but quite a few were rushed by us as well,’’ Beattie said.
‘‘Our backmen were in control for most of the day, they plucked a few opportunities through their smalls, but they’ll be the first to admit they didn’t kick well to their tall blokes.’’
Cats coach Damian Sexton felt his side had its chances.
‘‘It was until the last five minutes,’’ Sexton said.
‘‘You’ve got to take your chances in front of goals and we missed a few blatant easy ones to put on a bit of scoreboard pressure.
‘‘I was hanging on our three good forwards that they could catch it a bit more than they did. They were getting their hands to a few, but not clunking them and to flood back like Echuca United did and the pressure the likes of Prendergast put on make it difficult.’’
As well as the back six, ruckman Clayton Zanella, Bryn Barnes-Webb and veteran Dean Moon stood out at different stages for Beattie.
Jordan Daniel, Mick Littlejohn and Levi Middleton were best for Finley.
The Cats were without midfield-forward Reid Crowe, who was suspended for rough conduct at the league tribunal on Wednesday night.
Crowe was given a two-match ban, with one suspended, meaning he is free to represent the league in its AFL Victoria Country Championships clash with Sunraysia this weekend, should he get picked.
Saturday’s loss dropped Finley from first to fifth on the ladder, showing just how even this year’s competition is.
Five teams have a win-loss record of 5-1 going into the interleague bye, with Echuca United on top.
Football nut and AFL Goulburn Murray league operations manager Simon Devine is looking forward to the challenge of carrying on the proud tradition of the Goulburn Valley Football League.
Police investigating a break and enter at a Mulwala club more than 10 years ago are renewing their appeal for public assistance by releasing an image of a person they believe has information to assist them.
Tatura’s Victory Hall is set for a big year as preparations get under way to celebrate the hall’s 90th birthday in September.
Former district resident and award-winning television producer Joanna Werner will no doubt be shopping for a glitzy gown ahead of the Emmy Awards in New York on February 20.
Rochester Secondary College school captains Dom Atley and Tim Poole have been accepted to study biomedical science in the first step towards becoming doctors.
Will it be Merrigum or Lancaster?
Fire destroys key public buildings in Seymour
Finley Henry Matheson was bestowed one of the highest Australia Day honours.
Heathcote Hostel residents were treated to a visit from Heathcote’s favourite horse, Sub Zero, as part of Australia Day celebrations.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Darren McLoughlin only started playing croquet seven years ago.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Former Benalla footballer Tom Rockliff has been named captain of the Brisbane Lions Football Club.
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