Tatura farewells Kirby with stir­ring vic­tory

The Tatura Guardian - - Sport -

Painful nar­row losses had be­come all too fa­mil­iar for Tatura dur­ing a frus­trat­ing 2017 sea­son, how­ever the Bull­dogs fi­nally re­ceived some re­ward for their ef­fort, de­feat­ing top-six-side Be­nalla by 11 points at Tatura Park.

The Bull­dogs went into Satur­day’s game cel­e­brat­ing what was likely to be club leg­end Paul Kirby’s last game and his team­mates rose to the oc­ca­sion with a stir­ring win.

Tatura scored the first goal of the game and, apart from the fi­nal min­utes of the first term, main­tained a lead un­til the fi­nal siren.

The re­turn of play­ing-coach Ja­ma­son Daniels from a se­ri­ous leg in­jury added some real spark to the Bull­dogs’ line-up and Be­nalla was un­able to match their speed and spread through the mid­dle of the ground.

The Bull­dogs’ back­line was su­perb, keep­ing their dan­ger­ous op­po­si­tion for­wards to six goals as they con­tin­u­ally re­pelled the Saints’ for­ward thrusts with or­gan­ised ef­fi­ciency.

Brad Ryan, Che Walls and Tom Miller led the way with their ag­gres­sive at­tack on the footy, while the re­main­der of the back-six made solid con­tri­bu­tions in an out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

How­ever, it was Tatura young gun Mitch El­liott who turned on his most com­plete game of the year with more than 30 pos­ses­sions and three goals.

El­liott has al­ways been dan­ger­ous as a small for­ward but has taken his game to an­other level through themid­field. His abil­ity to read the ball off hands and to link up with his run­ners is now a real as­set to an im­prov­ing team.

An­drew Ci­avarella was also ex­cel­lent through the mid­field with what seemed to be an enor­mous num­ber of con­tested pos­ses­sions, while the run­ning power of James Wall and Rian McGough gave the Bull­dogs a drive that was unmatched.

It was a per­for­mance that gave the Bull­dogs faith­fuls some real hope that sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment is not far away.

Daniels was ec­static with the per­for­mance of his team and recog­nised the con­tri­bu­tions Kirby and young back­man James Ni­hill, who cel­e­brated his 50th se­nior game with the ex­cit­ing vic­tory.

Fi­nal score: Tatura 9.4.58 de­feated Be­nalla 6.11.47

Best: Mitch El­liott, Brad Ryan, Che Walls, James Wall, An­drew Ci­avarella and Tom Miller.

Re­serves

Fi­nal score: Tatura 20.14.134 de­feated Be­nalla 5.6.36

Best: Daniel Flynn, Shane Kay, Jake Ches­sells, Dy­lan Ar­gus, Dy­lan Min­u­toli and Sam Green.

Un­der 18s

The Bull­dogs’ un­der 18s side will see fi­nals ac­tion for the first time in sev­eral years af­ter fin­ish­ing sixth with 12 wins and six losses.

The Bull­dogs were nar­rowly de­feated by fourth­placed Be­nalla on Satur­day and will face Shep­par­ton Bears at Tatura Park this Satur­day at 10 am.

Fi­nal score: Be­nalla 11.7.73 de­feated Tatura 8.7.55

Best: Ethan Moor, Matt Lange Richards, Ma­son Far­ley, David Palmer, Gabe Evans and Brodie San­ders.

Thanks, mate: Tatura se­nior player Paul Kirby is car­ried off the ground by team­mates Linc Welling­ton and Tim Lanyon af­ter what was pos­si­bly his last game. The Bull­dogs rose to the oc­ca­sion, se­cur­ing a win against the Be­nalla Saints.

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