Drought-break­ing side

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By Tyler Ma­her

A Mur­ray Foot­ball League pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal drought dat­ing back to 2009 ends to­day for Ba­rooga.

But it is a pre­mier­ship drought of 20 years the Hawks will have their sights set on eras­ing this year.

First though, co-coach Ty­rone Downie and his charges must over­come a finals-hard­ened Nathalia out­fit at Co­bram’s Scott Oval.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously the boys were re­ally ex­cited to get over the line against Moama last week,’’ he said.

‘‘Now we get a chance at Nathalia in what will be a great pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

‘‘There’s no doubt that they’re a proven side with runs on the board, but we’ll be wor­ry­ing about what we’re do­ing.’’

Ba­rooga’s strength this sea­son has been an out­stand­ing team con­tri­bu­tion, high­lighted by the goal tal­lies of Downie (49 ma­jors), Will Gor­man (46), Matt De­maio (46) and Spiro Vour­gaslis (43).

It is a facet of the game which has seen the Hawks take vic­tory in the past eight matches and some­thing Downie hopes will hold his troops in good stead to­day.

‘‘We’re play­ing some good footy and are in some good form,’’ he said.

‘‘The big change is that we’re not re­ly­ing on any­one in par­tic­u­lar.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is happy to do Sprightly Spiro: their bit to get the job done on game day, and hope­fully with another even per­for­mance we can go close (to­day).’’

The Hawks will likely take on the Pur­ples with an un­changed line-up from last week and Downie hopes a lack of travel will help his charges be primed and ready to go come the first bounce.

‘‘It’s good that it’s at Co­bram, it’s just across the river,’’ he said.

‘‘Our prepa­ra­tion will be pretty low-key be­cause it’s lo­cal, so hope­fully it gives us a good chance to get the re­sult.’’

Fel­low co-coach James Hazel­man has been in great form re­cently, as has Lu­cas Ol­son (29 goals) and tow­er­ing ruck­man Brodie A’Vard.

Ever­green Ba­rooga vet­eran Spiro Vour­gaslis will again play a key role for his side to­day.

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