Up­set had been brew­ing

Kyabram Free Press - - SPORT -

THE first strong hint that the Shep­par­ton Bears had bridged what seemed to be an un­bridge­able di­vide against Kyabram came in the first week of the GVL fi­nals.

The Bombers had scored two wins by 10 goals over the Bears dur­ing the home-an­d­away se­ries but in the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal the Bears had got within 15 points and played bet­ter foot­ball on the day.

There was an­other sign the Bombers had come back to the field in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal when Echuca, who had been smashed by over 70 points by the Bombers in their two home-and-away con­fronta­tions, pushed Kyabram to the limit for three quar­ters.

These two un­der-par ef­forts by Kyabram’s lofty stan­dards no doubt strength­ened the self-be­lief of the Bears go­ing into the de­cider.

And it was this self-be­lief, per­sis­tence, a lit­tle more leg speed and a ruck­man called Ash Hol­land that brought down Kyabram last Sun­day and ended the record­break­ing win­ning streak of 62 games.

Yes, the Bombers had their chances to win it but the ag­o­nis­ing truth was they didn’t. So you have to give credit where credit is due — Shep­par­ton earned and de­served their first flag in 18 years.

Say­ing that, the Bombers can still be im­mensely proud of their achieve­ments over the past three years, as can their re­spected coach Paul New­man.

New­man tasted de­feat for the first time in his coach­ing ten­ure with the Bombers with Sun­day’s loss, but with a 62-1 win­ning strike rate New­man also has to be mighty proud of his coach­ing record, which will prob­a­bly never be matched in the GVL.

Lan­caster thirds tri­umph against the odds

I MUST add my con­grat­u­la­tions to the Lan­caster Foot­ball Club thirds side, which claimed the pre­mier­ship last Satur­day in the Kyabram District Foot­ball League de­ciders.

The young Wom­bats bat­tled for num­bers all sea­son but starred on the big stage when it counted most — at fi­nals time.

They came from an elim­i­na­tion fi­nal win to pre­miers in a re­mark­able show of spirit against mas­sive odds.

Coach Michael Mott and his play­ers will trea­sure this unforgettable jour­ney in what was one of the real feel-good sto­ries from all the re­gion’s pre­mier­ship show­downs.

Now that’s a pur­ple patch

AND while on great grand fi­nal wins, Nathalia has been as good as it comes in the mod­ern era when it comes to win­ning coun­try flags.

Nine pre­mier­ships in 14 sea­sons is what the Mur­ray League Pur­ples are boast­ing af­ter they out­classed Ba­rooga at Rum­balara in the sea­son show­down last Satur­day.

The win com­pleted an­other streak of four suc­ces­sive flag tri­umphs, a feat the club achieved in 2005, ‘06, ‘07 and ‘08. They were also pre­miers in 2012.

And Kyabram had a strong con­nec­tion in the lat­est win with former Bomber Craig Kel­low coach­ing the side and ex-Bombers Mick Crox­ford and Ryan But­ler, who kicked three goals, shar­ing in the win.

Craig has coached Nathalia to its last four flags, Mick has now been in four pre­mier­ship sides with the club and Ryan has savoured the last two flag wins. It can’t get much bet­ter than that.

And in an­other Kyabram con­nec­tion in a pre­mier­ship tri­umph last week­end, Ju­lia Crock­ett-Grills was in the Hawthorn team which beat Gee­long for the VFL Women’s League flag.

No medals for Bombers

THERE was no medal joy for Kyabram Foot­ball Net­ball Club play­ers at the GVL medal count last week.

In the Mor­ri­son Medal, shared by Be­nalla’s Sam Mar­tyn and Shep­par­ton’s Nik Rokahr with 22 votes, Liam Og­den did best of the Kyabram play­ers with 16 votes.

There was also a tie in the reserves Abikhair Medal be­tween be­tween Rochester’s Sam Fraw­ley and Shep­par­ton’s Mitch Heg­gart while Shep­par­ton Swans’ Zac Alder­ton and Shep­par­ton’s Hugo Ing­ham pro­duced an­other dead heat in the thirds Pat­ti­son Medal.

In net­ball, Tatura’s Emma Ryan claimed the Well­man Fam­ily Medal while Sey­mour’s An­drea McKen­zie, Shep­par­ton Swans’ Jas­mine Mar­shall, Mooroopna’s Lacey Paaka and Tatura’s Elsie Boyer took the B, B Re­serve, Un­der 17 and Un­der 15 top in­di­vid­ual awards re­spec­tively.

Nar­row­est of mar­gins in net­ball de­ciders

THE GVL net­ball courts on Sun­day’s grand fi­nal day were not for the faint-hearted.

Par­tic­u­larly for Echuca and Shep­par­ton Bears sup­port­ers in the A and B grade sea­son de­ciders.

Shep­par­ton beat Echuca by one goal for the B grade flag and in the A grade fi­nal it was Echuca’s turn, also win­ning by one goal.

Heath­cote turns to Prim­mer

HEATH­COTE Foot­ball Club has made an in­ter­est­ing coach­ing ap­point­ment for the 2019 sea­son.

The club has signed on former Essendon player Wayne Prim­mer as non-play­ing coach for the next two sea­sons.

Prim­mer, 59, takes over from Luke Bell, who has coached the club for the past two sea­sons.

Prim­mer played 40 games with Essendon and had a stand­out sea­son in 1978 with his 47 goals win­ning him the club’s goal­kick­ing award.

Af­ter his time at Essendon he played for West Tor­rens in the South Aus­tralian Foot­ball League and since then has coached Lal­bert (now Mur­ray Ea­gles) in the Cen­tral Mur­ray League and in 2016 and 2017 he led Sand­hurst into fi­nals in the Bendigo League.

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