Sport

Echuca parts with Hargrave

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June 16, 2017

Bendigo's Darby Henderson takes a mark during a TAC Cup match against the Dandenong Southern Stingrays. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Echuca has parted ways with star off-season recruit Cory Hargrave, who has returned to former club Murrumbeena.

‘‘It was all on good terms, but Cory wasn’t quite fitting into the senior team and we gave him the option to exit the contract early,’’ Echuca coach Andrew Briggs said.

The Murray Bombers will push ahead towards a breakthrough finals appearance without Hargrave, who played just two games for the club, when they host Seymour tomorrow.

Echuca is gunning for a third straight Goulburn Valley League victory when it battles the Lions at Victoria Park.

A victory would help the Murray Bombers maintain pressure on sixth-placed Rochester.

Echuca came away from Tatura with an outstanding win last Saturday, with Daniel Willis, Morrison medallist Simon Buckley, young gun Darby Henderson and Ruory Kirkby starring.

‘‘Seymour presents a big challenge for us because they’ve got a pretty tip-top midfield and we’ll have to play some good footy against them,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘They can get on top in the midfield pretty easily, but if we can generate some attack off half-back like we did last week then that will allow us to score.’’

Key target Jordan Florance missed the win against the Bulldogs, but is certain to come back in to face the Lions.

Seymour will welcome back Morrison Medal favourite Jason Cole after he missed the Lions’ 44-point demolition of Benalla last Saturday.

The Lions were back to some of their best football against the Saints, with coach Brent Colbert, Jake O’Brien, Andrew Sturgess and Ben Clifton back in the line-up.

But Colbert and Clifton will be the only two to remain, with O’Brien and Sturgess back to VFL commitments this week.

Seymour won at Echuca last year, but Victoria Park has been far from a happy hunting ground for the Lions.

‘‘There have been some dark days at Echuca, even when we were winning premierships in the 2000s and having good periods we’ve found it hard to win there,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘The top four is starting to take shape and we didn’t want to drop out of that bracket with another loss last week after losing two in a row.’’

Colbert said he was after some of his other players to continue stand up in the absence of key players, with star midfielder Brett Meredith set to miss the rest of the season.

‘‘The difference between a contender or not is those other guys standing up to help out because you can’t rely on your same four or five players every week,’’ Colbert said.

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