Sport

Time to test resurgence

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August 10, 2017

Violet Town coach Sean Horsburgh (pictured) has high expectations of his troops in the blockbuster match against Avenel on Saturday.

Take the first four rounds of the season out of the equation and Avenel is sitting on top of the ladder.

After starting their Kyabram District Football Netball League campaign with a quartet of defeats, the Swans have barely missed a beat since, losing just one game.

It makes Saturday’s clash with Violet Town a genuine blockbuster, with the Towners to gear up for a game against one of last year’s grand finalists for a consecutive week.

If this one goes even half as well as against Nagambie, coach Sean Horsburgh will be delighted.

Violet Town ground the reigning premiers into the dirt in round 17, racking up a mammoth 90-point victory to go a game clear on top of the ladder.

Horsburgh said he expected his side to be just as fired up against the Swans and did not expect a comedown after the euphoria of downing the Lakers.

‘‘In all honesty, we need to be just as good because once we get to finals, we’ll be having big games every week, anyway,’’ Horsburgh said.

‘‘Obviously the win on the weekend was good, but it doesn’t allow us much breathing space on top of the ladder, we’ve got to work pretty hard to stay there and can’t relax.’’

One Horsburgh comes into the side while another goes out.

Sean will return to the field after coaching from the bench against Nagambie, but brother Pat goes out to manage an ongoing hip injury.

Leigh Lugg will also miss after breaking his arm last week, but could still be back for the finals.

The last game between these sides in round five had Avenel finally get back to some of its best football.

While the Swans lost the game by 10 points, the confidence taken out of the contest has lifted them to greater heights.

Avenel playing coach Don Stirling said his side was in a good place, but knew Violet Town would be its biggest test.

‘‘They’ve got handy players all over the ground with (John) Woodcock, Sam Poole in the middle, but we can’t just concentrate on those guys,’’ Stirling said.

‘‘We always knew we had it in us after a delayed start to the pre-season, but we’ve started to hit our straps now.

‘‘The slow start has probably cost us being higher up the ladder now, but the form at the moment has been pretty good.’’

Michael Berry and Grant Hateley are missing for the Swans, but could be back for their finals campaign.

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