Rising Magpies on a mission

September 22, 2017

Euroa’s Craig Bamford poses a challenge for his Kyabram opponents on Sunday.

Euroa can achieve a rag to riches story tomorrow if it wins the Goulburn Valley Leagues reserves premiership.

Under playing coach James Ivill, the Magpies have gone from cellar dwellers to grand finalist in a year.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s grand final opponent Kyabram was also not in the best shape heading into this season, lending a few players from surrounding leagues to field a team, despite the dominance of the club’s seniors.

‘‘It has been an unbelievable journey, to go from bottom to top is awesome and then to even do it in my first year as coach is pretty crazy,’’ Ivill said.

‘‘I never thought it would have been the case, but we had a few boys come back to the club and (senior coach) JD Hayes has helped out a lot as well.’’

The task to beat Kyabram for the third straight time this season has been made easier with senior coach Paul Newman electing to not pull on the boots after kicking nine of the Bombers’ 16 goals last week.

The Bombers ran riot in their 92-point preliminary final win against Shepparton United last week and coach Mark Dillon is confident his side can find other avenues to goal.

‘‘We aren’t expecting Paulo to play, but if he puts his hand up, it will be a bonus,’’ Dillon said.

‘‘It is going to be a huge game and I am sure we have some boys who will fill the void if he doesn’t play.’’

Ben McDonell has kicked 27 goals in 11 games this season, including two against Euroa in the second semi-final two weeks ago, but the offensive prowess does drop off pretty quickly.

After McDonell and Newman, the Bombers’ next best goalkicker is Tom Curnow on 19 goals in 20 games.

After finishing in fourth position, the Bombers were awarded a second chance when they beat Mansfield in an elimination final and United (sixth) stunned Rochester (third).

Euroa outclassed Kyabram by six goals in the second semi, giving Ivill’s side plenty of confidence heading into the big dance.

‘‘We have played them twice this season, the early result we don’t take much consideration into, while the second time they were with us before we kicked away in the end,’’ Ivill said.

‘‘Knowing that we had beaten them recently does give the boys extra confidence, but that means nothing on grand final day.’’

Meanwhile, Dillon felt finishing fourth was a blessing in disguise for his club, while they too took a little out of their most recent clash.

‘‘Their smaller on-ball brigade had the better of us and that is something that we will need to stop,’’ Dillon said.

‘‘They don’t really have too many weaknesses, so we just need to get our hands on the football first.’’

The Magpies will have 15 or more players running around tomorrow who have played senior football this season, but it is Craig Bamford and Brad Cunningham who Dillon was most worried about.

‘‘They get their hands on the footy first, they are tough to add it and I think if we can stop them two, it will go a long way to helping us winning the game,’’ Dillon said.

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