Pi­geons down in a thriller

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Classies Classies -

Yar­ra­wonga’s un­beaten start to the sea­son came to an end on Satur­day when the Pi­geons were de­feated by five points at the hands of arch ri­vals the Al­bury Tigers in a thriller at JC Lowe Oval.

With ruck­man Lach­lan Howe a late with­drawal due to a call up with Collingwood in the VFL, young­ster Jake Wild was given the ruck du­ties.

Wild per­formed well against Oliver McEwan and Ben Dower and as a re­sult Tim Cooper, Xavier Les­lie and Mark Whi­ley gave drive around the packs as did Da­mon Hem­phill from de­fence.

Jess Koop­man gave the Pi­geons the per­fect start with a goal within 22 sec­onds of the bounce.

Af­ter that it be­came a real bat­tle for the goal kick­ers, with the Tigers only goal through from Uthayaku­mar af­ter 17 min­utes.

Both teams had play­ers back mak­ing con­gested for­ward lines with both teams were locked on eight points at quar­ter time.

Al­bury kicked the first goal of the sec­ond term but the Pi­geons pro­duced their best pe­riod of foot­ball for the match when Drew Barnes, Koop­man and Brad O’Con­nor all goaled to give the Pi­geons a 16 point lead.

Nick Lawless’ run and carry was an im­por­tant as­set as the Pi­geons went long to talls O’Con­nor, Symes and Mar­cus McMil­lan. But un­for­tu­nately that played into the hands of the Al­bury cram­mers who were able to run the ball out.

The Pi­geons still lead by 11 points at half time but had wasted a lot of the ball go­ing in­side fifty, 12 times to four.

Al­bury took con­trol of the third quar­ter kick­ing five goals in the open­ing 15 min­utes.

The Tigers got a lot of run from El­liot Pow­ell, Dy­lan McDon­ald and Jake Page and a re­ally fin­ish­ing ruck for­ward in Luke Daly bag­ging three goals.

Pi­geon’s de­fender Con­nor Har­g­reaves was sen­sa­tional down back, his tack­ling and long pen­e­trat­ing kicks were a high­light. SE­NIOR SCORES Al­bury Yar­ra­wonga

Beau Sey­mour is another of­ten un­der­noticed ‘Mr Fix It’. If it went far and wide or when­ever the Pi­geons had a hole to plug, Sey­mour was the go to man.

Late goals to O’Con­nor and Lawless kept the Pi­geons hopes alive trail­ing by eight points at the last change.

Yar­ra­wonga were kept score­less in the open­ing 11 min­utes of the fourth as the Tigers re­sponded with four goals in the last term tak­ing a 29 point lead.

The Pi­geons looked in real trou­ble but then in a com­plete turn­around with pres­sure and pres­ence around the con­tests, it was the Tigers turn to be kept score­less for a while.

With mo­men­tum Yar­ra­wonga went long GOALS, Al­bury : Luke Daly 4, Ben­jamin Dower 2, Alex Jones 2, Er­ish­mi­ilan Uthayaku­mar 2, Wil­liam Blome­ley 1, Joel Mackie 1 Yar­ra­wonga : Bran­don Symes 4, Bradley O’Con­nor 3, Jess Koop­man 2, Drew Barnes 1, Nick Lawless 1 BEST, Al­bury : Wil­liam Blome­ley, El­liott Pow­ell, Daniel Cross, Brady Mor­ton, Luke Daly, Chris Hyde Yar­ra­wonga : Con­nor Har­g­reaves, Bran­don Symes, Beau Sey­mour, Mark Whi­ley, Lo­gan Morey, Drew Barnes and direct and as a re­sult found four goals to O’Con­nor and three goals to Symes.

The Pi­geons fell short but there was plenty to like about the ef­fort that they showed. They demon­strated that they are a team of ex­cit­ing young­sters ca­pa­ble of run­ning out a game.

Al­bury re­main as the yard stick of the com­pe­ti­tion, with a very ex­pe­ri­enced list, and will con­tinue as premier­ship favourites.

Coach Chris Kennedy said the Pi­geons were their own worst en­emy.

“We let our­selves down with in­ac­cu­racy es­pe­cially in the first half,” Kennedy said. “When they had the mo­men­tum they were able to score, when we had it, we didn’t.

“We kicked 4.7 and they got num­bers back and it’s not easy for the for­wards when that hap­pens.

“We didn’t do a hell of a lot wrong it was just not fin­ish­ing off our work when it counted most.”

Kennedy said the team was still de­vel­op­ing and was yet to play their best footy.

“The thing I liked about today is we kept com­ing,” he said.

“We were five goals down and in the past we have won games com­ing from those sit­u­a­tions, so if the game had have gone another two min­utes we might have grabbed it.”

Chron­i­cle award: 5 Har­g­reaves, 4 Symes, 3 Sey­mour, 2 Morey, 1 Cooper .

Re­serves

Al­bury have kept their top spot af­ter a hard fought game gave them vic­tory over the Pi­geons on Satur­day.

Mark Athani­tis and Isaac Byrne pushed their op­po­nents to their lim­its with great de­fence work right from the start.

But it wasn’t enough as Al­bury made their move in the sec­ond and se­cured a three goal lead at half time which the Pi­geons found hard to close.

Kennedy re­sponded early in the third for a quick goal, backed up by Gal­lagher’s mark of the day in the square for his sec­ond.

Se­nior ex­pe­ri­ence has paid off for the young Gal­lagher who was piv­otal on many oc­ca­sions push­ing the ball for­ward.

But it was a re­pen­tant Jones giv­ing an un­for­tu­nate free in front of the Al­bury goals that al­lowed them to con­tinue to push out the mar­gin late in the third.

Ten min­utes into the last, Grin­ter kicked his first re­duc­ing the mar­gin to 15.

The Pi­geons were all over the ball and had plenty of play in the fi­nal term, but in­ac­cu­rate kick­ing let them down and the Tigers got away with another win 8.10 58 to 12.6 78.

Goals: J Gal­lagher 2, I Byrne 2, X Kennedy 1, M Grin­ter 1, M Har­g­reaves 1, R Mulquiney 1.

Best: J Gal­lagher, M Grin­ter, M Har­g­reaves, M Athani­tis, J El­liott, T Har­g­reaves.

Un­der 18s

With a strong win over the pre­vi­ously un­beaten Al­bury Tigers, the Un­der 18s are now on top of the lad­der.

It was a very even con­test early with both sides strug­gling for as­cen­dancy.

Al­bury drew first blood but a strong mark and goal from power for­ward Matt Casey shortly af­ter kept the score­board even.

Great de­fen­sive ef­forts from both teams re­sulted in a low scor­ing first quar­ter, with the Pi­geons hav­ing a one point lead at the first break.

The sec­ond was more of the same with Al­bury match­ing Ely Smith and Tim Lawrence’s goals to see scores level at the half time break.

In the third Ely Smith and Isaac McMil­lan showed the way with dom­i­nant per­for­mances.

Macca Lon­er­gan had been busy all game and was re­warded with a great goal.

Ely Smith added to the tally shortly af­ter and when the elu­sive Tim Lawrence kicked his sec­ond, the young Pi­geons started to pull away.

Ned Mullins’ at­tack on the ball saw nu­mer­ous 50/50 con­tests go the Pi­geons way.

Bai­ley Frauen­felder was pro­vid­ing great run from the back­line and with fel­low back men in Kay­den Sharp, Zac Smith and Troy Bryce, they man­aged to keep the Tigers to only one goal in the third.

In the last and with a two goal lead, Ro­nan Pritchard showed his silky skills in evad­ing sev­eral de­fend­ers to hit up Macca Lon­er­gan in front of goal.

Tim Lawrence took his goal tally to a team high of three shortly af­ter and Matt Casey put the re­sult be­yond doubt when he booted another.

Yar­ra­wonga 9.11.65 de­feated Al­bury 6.9.45.

Beau Sey­mour de­ter­mined to get a hand on the ball.

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