Sport

Difference a week makes

by
July 10, 2017

Echuca's Simon Buckley was at his dominant best again during the win over Euroa.

Echuca coach Andrew Briggs summed up his side’s turnaround perfectly after defeating Euroa by nine points at Memorial Oval on Saturday.

‘‘A week is a long time in football,’’ Briggs said.

The win came just a week after the Murray Bombers were handed a 142-point lesson against Kyabram, and Briggs praised his troops for being able to move on from that result.

‘‘We put last weekend behind us, focused on this game and executed really well,’’ he said.

‘‘Our young guys across the field were really the difference.

‘‘You probably couldn’t find someone who didn’t contribute, where as last week there were plenty.’’

Echuca failed to score in the first term of the contest, but with the Magpies only managing four points themselves the Murray Bombers were still well and truly in the match.

‘‘We started slowly, but after 10 to 15 minutes we felt like the momentum swung our way,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘Then we managed to keep the ball for most of the second quarter, get repeat scores and put that pressure on our opposition.’’

The four goals to one Echuca engineered in the second term proved the difference in the match, with both sides booting four majors in the second half.

With the game in the balance in the last term, Nathan Bottomley snared a Magpies player deep in Echuca’s forward pocket, gaining a free kick for holding the ball and subsequently slotting what proved to be the sealer as the heavens opened.

‘‘We got it to a three score game late in the last and then the rain came, so it was good,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘It was slippery and wet for most of the game so the ball was hard to handle, there was plenty of back and forth.’’

Simon Buckley and Kane Morris were once again a dangerous duo in the middle of the ground, while Ruory Kirkby’s four goals were significant in a match where only 14 were kicked.

For Briggs though, it was the performances of his younger brigade that stood out the most.

‘‘Our future, if the young guys can continue to improve and concentrate, is in really good hands,’’ he said.

‘‘The players really enjoyed the contest and everyone was very happy in the rooms after the game.’’

A hamstring injury to Tim Allan during the second stanza, in the opposite leg to the strain he suffered earlier in the season, was the only sour note for Echuca.

For Euroa, the injury woes began even before the first bounce of the ball.

Playing coach JD Hayes was ruled out after suffering a minor calf strain last week against Benalla, an injury he was sure he could overcome in time to take the field.

‘‘I was 50:50 driving to training on Thursday night,’’ he said.

‘‘I thought I could get up for the game, but I’ll be back next week.’’

The Magpies were left cursing the conditions, with the scrappy game playing far more into Echuca’s hands than Euroa’s.

‘‘The rain really slowed us down, but full credit to Echuca, they came out firing and really took it to us,’’ Hayes said.

‘‘They forced us to kick down the line a lot and their talls really dominated.

‘‘It was very disappointing obviously, but we’re going to take a lot out of it and take some positives out of the negatives to learn from it.’’

Trent Storer was Euroa’s best, with young Kayne Davidson battling the bigger bodies of the Murray Bombers well.

The Magpies remain a game clear in third spot on the Goulburn Valley League ladder ahead of a clash with the Shepparton Swans next week, while Echuca will face another tough contest when it hosts Benalla.

Scores

Euroa 0.4 2.7 4.7 6.7 (43)

Echuca 0.0 4.1 6.3 8.4 (52)

Best

Euroa: Trent Storer, Kayne Davidson, David Mole, Marcus Varley, Andrew Bell, Matt Ivill.

Echuca: Simon Buckley, Kane Morris, Bart Phillips, Tyler Phillips, Ruory Kirkby, Amos Farrell.

Goals

Euroa: Rob Wilson, Craig Bamford 2, Jett Trotter, Stuart Patten.

Echuca: Ruory Kirkby 4, Jordan Florance 2, Tim Allan, Nathan Bottomley.

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