Sport

Ross the boss

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July 20, 2017

Violet Town stalwart Tim Ross (right) is set to play his 250th game for The Towners on Saturday.

Violet Town’s Tim Ross joins elite company on Saturday.

He brings up his 250th game when the Towners look to rebound from a shock defeat to Girgarre last week when they host Lancaster.

Coach Sean Horsburgh brought up the same milestone this season, while Bo Harrison played his 300th in 2015 before moving across to rival Nagambie last year.

Ross, 31, has spent all of his career at Violet Town, apart from a brief stint in the Goulburn Valley League at Benalla.

‘‘There haven’t been too many guys to reach the mark, so it’s good to be mentioned in that sort of company,’’ Ross said.

‘‘I’ve been lucky enough to play all my footy here, rather than move around every couple of years searching for a good club.

‘‘I feel privileged to have been able to find a club I love because it makes it easy to turn up every week.

‘‘It’s a family friendly club and I’ve never heard a bad said about it by anyone, even when they’ve left.

‘‘A lot of work goes into it all with people off the field as well. I basically only turn up on a Saturday, but there’s so much work involved by all the volunteers in having a club up and going.’’

Ross played in Violet Town’s 2012 premiership, with the powerful Towners not losing a game during the season.

Those lofty heights have been followed by a period of rebuilding under Horsburgh, who took over as coach ahead of the 2014 season.

But the club is back in a position to contend for another flag, with the Towners sitting second on the ladder with a 10-2 record.

‘‘We’ve had guys come across from Shepparton and Benalla when Sean took over and there’s a couple of blokes who have been there for three or four years now,’’ Ross said.

‘‘We’ve topped up with a few extra players this year like Patty Horsburgh, Ash Hobbs and Nick Abley, but they all had connections to the club before and very familiar with everyone and the surroundings.’’

Ross said he was still enjoying his football, but would consider wife Tegan and children Macey, Koby and Billy before deciding how long he plays for.

‘‘It’s definitely easier when you’re winning, but the bunch of guys we’ve got there now is great and we all get along very well,’’ Ross said.

The Towners need to keep winning to book a crucial double chance come finals time, with Tallygaroopna and Stanhope only a game behind and having a better percentage.

After the disappointment of a two-point defeat against the Kangaroos, Violet Town will be switched on against the Wombats, who were left devastated for a fourth straight week when they lost to Merrigum.

Longwood v Undera

Saturday is a golden opportunity for these sides to register a much-needed victory.

Undera came away with a two-point win when the Lions took on the Redlegs in a high-scoring round two contest.

The Lions will need more scoring power after kicking just seven goals combined in their past six games.

Longwood has put in some competitive performances and would have been preparing for this game for a few weeks.

The Redlegs will be refreshed after two weeks off with a bye and being fixtured against Ardmona.

Braydon Kearns has been a shining light, as has Sam Scott and young gun Lucas Foenander.

Longwood’s last win came against Ardmona on June 4 last year when the Redlegs smashed the Cats by 88 points.

Stanhope v Nagambie

Stanhope has spent all week waiting for redemption after a surprise loss to Murchison-Toolamba.

In a remarkable game, the Grasshoppers ran over the top of the Lions by a point after failing to score a goal in the first half.

Brenton Gray’s men are well placed at 9-3, but the ladder-leading Lakers have again been the team to beat this season coming off two premierships in three seasons.

Simon Collis and Alex O’Reilly are coming off big matches, but there will be a number of Stanhope players looking to atone for disappointing efforts.

Nagambie continues to leave teams in its wake, led by stars Michael Roberts, Mick Shiels and Ben Hutton.

Pat Rattray returned for his first senior game of the season by booting six goals in last week’s win against Avenel.

Merrigum v Murch-Toolamba

The wins keep coming out at Merrigum.

But if the Bulldogs are to bring up a sixth straight victory, they will have to get past one of the league’s fiercest competitors.

Murchison-Toolamba pulled off a win for the ages against flag fancy Stanhope last Saturday, defeating the Lions by a point.

Merrigum had a sensational victory of its own, turning the tables on a round-one loss to Lancaster to prevail against its arch rival to move into sixth on the ladder.

Star ruckman Joe Sullivan has taken hold of the competition, while Dave Matthews, Austin Bizzotto and Christian Barnett are in good touch.

The Grasshoppers had an even contribution across the park, with Jake Ewart, Jon Copper, Jack Sanderson and Luke Cecchin featuring prominently.

Tallygaroopna v Girgarre

Tallygaroopna has been flying, but it will receive a huge test on Saturday against Girgarre.

The Kangaroos are coming off their best win of the season after snapping a six-game losing streak to defeat premiership contender Violet Town.

Their depth has been tested, with Girgarre missing nine of its best 18 through injury, leading to a player shortage in the reserves.

The Redlegs have had their own injury woes, but are starting to get players back in the run home to finals.

Midfield star Tyson Sidebottom will be back after sitting out last week’s 75-point win against Rushworth, with Tim Karolidis, Kane Handley, Doug Wren and Jayden Goodwin (four goals) in excellent form.

Girgarre has been best served by Ash Kirchhofer, Ash Hughes and Nick Mellington.

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