Shepparton United's reserves triumphed over Rochetser in the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final on Sunday, with their commitment proving too much for the Tigers' jitters.By Damen Francis
Yesterday’s Goulburn Valley Football League reserves grand final belonged to the demons in more ways than one.
Shepparton United triumphed with the commitment and verve befitting a premiership team, while Rochester appeared haunted by the ghosts of last year and was again caught short — this time by 25 points.
A scoreless second term was the decisive blow for the Tigers, who until that point had been marginally on top and the Demons had their leaders to thank.
Dan O’Reilly was outstanding around the stoppages and his ability to win the hard ball in the second term helped United gain control.
Stephen Scott was the fulcrum in midfield and unrelated namesake, Tom, provided the class with clean hands and pinpoint kicking.
Second quarter goals to Ash Quinn, Mitch Moore, Cam Calder and Jayden Goodwin gave United an unlikely 22-point half-time lead.
The Demons’ tackling was a real feature, with everything sticking, but by the end of the quarter it was arguably perceived pressure that had more of an influence in United kicking six straight, including Harrison Osborn’s classy snap just after the main break.
The Tigers’ comeback was slow and methodical, but they did get within nine points late in the third term, by taking better care of the ball and matching it with United at the stoppages.
However, they simply had too few contributors and when United locked the ball down, starving either side of scoring chances, the Tigers had no response.
Both Scotts strengthened their claims on an AFL Victoria Country medal for best-on-ground, and while Stephen won it, Tom was named player of the final series.
Hugh Anderson kept Sam Frawley to two goals and scarcely gave him an inch all day.
Chris Keady, fresh from coaching back-to-back Haisman Shield cricket premierships at Karramomus, made it a happy first foray into football coaching.
‘‘It’s a strange feeling when you’re not playing, it’s different, but no less enjoyable. You just feel so helpless on the sidelines, you can’t lay a tackle or anything,’’ Keady said.
‘‘(But) we had good players that played well and our tackling was absolutely fantastic, which is something we’ve worked hard at.
‘‘It was one of the things we spoke about towards the game and we stuck to it.’’
Keady paid tribute to the three players who missed out on selection and said telling them they would not be playing was one of the most gut-wrenching things he had ever done.
His counterpart, Todd Woodfine, had just as tough a job addressing his players at the end of another losing grand final.
Woodfine admitted his side just didn’t manage to play its best on the day.
‘‘I wish I knew (why),’’ Woodfine said.
‘‘It took us a little while to settle, we played well in patches in the first quarter, but the second was a real let down.
‘‘It doesn’t get any easier, last year we played really well, (yesterday) we didn’t.’’
Rangy midfielder Matt Haitsma, hard-nosed on-baller Tim Letcher and smooth mover Brodie Montague were the Tigers’ best, while dogged defender Mark Emmerson held nothing back in his final game.
With the majority of the team under the age of 25 and Woodfine staying on, Rochester will hope it’s a case of third time lucky next year.
A male allegedly armed with a hunting knifed stole cash from a Euroa McDonald's last night.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Drivers crossing the Echuca-Moama bridge faced delays this morning at 11.30am when a tractor lost its wheel.
Rochester’s old Courthouse is undergoing a facelift thanks to a restoration grant.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Australian sporting legends are at Heathcote Golf Club this morning for the MS Ashes Trek golf day to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Cobram Barooga Apex Club have raised more than $3600 for Irvin House at Cobram District Health.
Deniliquin RSL Club's A grade bowling championships came to a head on Sunday, with preliminary matches in B and C grade also taking place.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.