Sport

Brilliant Bjork on song

by
July 03, 2017

Euroa forward Ryley Bjorksten was insturmental in Saturday's narrow victory against Benalla.

Ryley Bjorksten was the difference for Euroa in its eight-point win against Benalla.

The young forward was influential with five goals, stirring the side to record the comeback win at Benalla Showgrounds.

Magpies coach JD Hayes said it was the best game the rising star had produced this season.

‘‘He was huge, he’s a very good athlete, I’m struggling to put into words (how well he played), he gave 100 per cent and kicked five crucial goals, he showed all class with his gut running,’’ Hayes said.

Benalla coach Luke Morgan echoed Hayes, saying Bjorksten caused headaches for his side.

But despite Bjorksten’s influence, the Saints had a lead for a large proportion of the hotly contested game.

Although trailing by five points at the first break, Benalla’s accuracy around goals helped it move nine points ahead at half-time with Brody Webster another rising talent putting in a superb effort.

‘‘He’s a star at the moment, Brody’s up there with the most improved players in the competition,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘I’d be surprised if he’s not high in Morrison Medal calculations at this point in the season, he’s been our best player this year by far and we need him to continue that way.’’

But Benalla battled without determined midfielder Zac Pallpratt, who went down with a knee injury just five minutes into the second term.

Changing direction in a routine move, Morgan said while the injury looked severe the reigning best-and-fairest winner would find out how long he will be sidelined for today.

With inaccuracy around the goals hampering the Magpies, Hayes said his charges were galvanised after the main break.

‘‘We understood how much the game meant in respect to the season and I put it on the playing group and we were really willing to pull our finger out and earn it, Benalla weren’t going to give the game to us,’’ he said.

Brothers Trent and Brock Storer made their presence felt, but Euroa was still four points behind heading into the final term.

Options on the bench began to dry up for Morgan as yet another star in Jimmy Martiniello was sidelined with a calf injury that could rule him out for two to three weeks.

But despite not having as many rotations, the Saints still had their chances to win the match as two shots hit the post in the final quarter.

While Benalla’s James Martyn kicked the final goal of the game in his return from suspension, the Magpies ground out the win.

‘‘It was a really good game and we were the losers, but I’ll take a lot of positives out, I’m really proud,’’ Morgan said.

‘‘Our guys’ willingness to scrap and fight and our effort when we were down to no bench (was great).’’

Scores

Euroa 2.7, 4.10, 7.13, 10.16 (76)

Benalla 2.2, 7.3, 9.5, 10.8 (68)

Best

Euroa: Ryley Bjorksten, Will McFarlane, Ben Harrison, Adam Tarrant, Jacob Gleeson, Trent Storer.

Benalla: Brody Webster, Charlie Morrison, David Mennen, James Martyn, Tom Bennett, Cody Crawford.

Goals

Euroa: Ryley Bjorksten 5, Craig Bamford 2, JD Hayes, Will McFarlane, Ben Harrison.

Benalla: Cody Crawford 2, Jordan Wolff 2, James Martyn 2, Chris Welsh, Brody Webster, Aaron Blackburn, Nick Warnock.

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