Bushrangers’ U14s kick into big time

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CAM POT­TER

GRAND fi­nal week is here – and all in the Beechworth com­mu­nity are be­hind the Bushrangers’ un­der 14 Aus­tralian foot­ball side which goes head-to-head with Thur­goona this week­end at Sandy Creek oval. Any­thing is pos­si­ble. Satur­day’s match has been two weeks in the mak­ing, with the Bushrangers de­feat­ing Bar­nawartha two weeks ago to progress to grand fi­nal.

Thur­goona de­feated Bar­nawartha by two points in a thriller 6.1 to 6.3 with the Bull­dogs keep­ing the Tigers goal­less in the fourth quar­ter.

Beechworth fin­ished the sea­son as mi­nor pre­miers, un­de­feated and won their first fi­nal to progress to Satur­day’s match, while Thur­goona fin­ished third with a 13-5 win­loss record and have played three extra matches than Beechworth in the past month.

The Bushrangers will take con­fi­dence into this game hav­ing de­feated Thur­goona in both of their clashes this sea­son.

Beechworth won the first match in round six by five points, and the sec­ond en­counter by 24 points in round 12.

The Bushrangers will also have the ad­van­tage up for­ward with their top three goal kick­ers Liam Stephens (47 goals), Liam McLaugh­lin (37 goals) and An­gus Pronk (34 goals) eas­ily outscor­ing Thur­goona’s Eli­jah Far­rah (27), Will Par­geter (19) and Ri­ley Hol­land (18).

Bushrangers coach Bill McLaugh­lin said his side has no sign of nerves.

“It is just an­other game for them it truly is,” McLaugh­lin said.

“The fi­nals have re­ally brought the best out of the group, train­ing stan­dards have risen, and it has been great to see, but most im­por­tantly they are en­joy­ing it.”

McLaugh­lin said he is con­fi­dent in his team.

“I am con­fi­dent in the fact that if they give their best ef­fort they won’t fail,” he said.

“It all comes down to team work, if we play as a team, talk and sup­port each other, take pride in our dis­posal and make the most of our op­por­tu­ni­ties I know we will be in with a chance.

“We all went over to watch the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal and all the kids are aware of who they will be play­ing on; hope­fully they picked up on how to beat their op­po­nents as well.” The Tal­lan­gatta and District Foot­ball Net­ball League will hold their grand fi­nals at Sandy Creek Oval on Satur­day, Septem­ber 9.

The un­der 14s will be­gin at 8.50am, the un­der 17s will be con­tested be­tween Tal­lan­gatta and Yackan­dan­dah at 10.30am, the re­serves will be­gin at 12.30pm be­tween Yackan­dan­dah and Thur­goona while the se­nior match will be fought out be­tween Thur­goona and Kiewa Sandy Creek from 2.30pm.

PHOTO: Jamie Pronk

ALL SET: (From left) Team Man­ager Rob Sin­clair, coach Bill McLaugh­lin and as­sis­tant coach Dale Walker (far right) with the un­der 14 Beechworth Bushrangers ahead of the grand fi­nal this Satur­day.

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