Pi­geons take seven to pre­lims

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Classies Classies -

On a sunny day in Corowa with lit­tle breeze, the Pi­geons de­feated the Lav­ing­ton Pan­thers by 45 points to move through to their third pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal in three years.

Fol­low­ing on from the six grand fi­nals in a row, that’s nine years run­ning the Pi­geons have fin­ished no lower on the lad­der than third.

A great achieve­ment when you also con­sider that the YFNC will be rep­re­sented in this week­end’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nals by all seven teams.

In foot­ball the se­niors, re­serves and un­der 18s will play at Bun­ton Park in North Al­bury on Sun­day, along with the A, B, C and un­der 16 net­ball teams.

Com­par­ing the per­for­mance of the Pi­geons se­nior side this week against Lav­ing­ton, to the team which suf­fered a heavy de­feat the week be­fore, is like com­par­ing chalk and cheese.

What was served up last week was in com­plete re­verse this week.

Dom­i­nance in the cen­tre square, right where the game is de­ter­mined, a tight and at­tack­ing de­fence, and a func­tion­ing for­ward line all mixed to­gether beau­ti­fully to give the Pi­geons the ad­van­tage all day. The per­for­mance of Mark Whi­ley in the mid­field was in­cred­i­ble. Whi­ley, who gath­ered 44 pos­ses­sions, was a de­light to watch.

Not to be out­shone, the two vet­er­ans in skip­per Tyler Bonat and Xavier Leslie both worked in beau­ti­fully with Whi­ley to com­pletely dom­i­nate the mid­field.

Bai­ley Frauen­felder, play­ing in his fifth se­nior game and his first se­nior fi­nal, was out­stand­ing kick­ing four goals and one be­hind while also set­ting up a cou­ple of oth­ers to cap off a very highly skilled per­for­mance.

The move of play­ing sea­soned per­former Tim Cooper in de­fence proved a win­ner, with him ini­ti­at­ing plenty of at­tack.

With the help of Scott Oswald, Mar­cus Har­g­reaves and Rhys O’Sul­li­van, Yar­ra­wonga fielded a very strong and at­tack­ing de­fence. The for­wards were able to find space and be­come pro­duc­tive both in scor­ing and work­ing harder to keep the ball in their area.

A far bet­ter bal­ance proved de­ci­sive and will hope­fully be one of many pos­i­tives the team will take for­ward into this week’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against the Wan­garatta Mag­pies.

Re­serves

The Pi­geon Re­serves trav­elled to Wodonga to take on the Wodonga Raiders in the se­cond semi-fi­nal on Satur­day.

On a blus­tery day, the Raiders proved too strong for the Pi­geon boys, com­ing out on top with a 29 point win.

The Raiders came out fir­ing from the start, win­ning the ball cleanly through cen­tre clear­ances putting the Pi­geon de­fence un­der enor­mous pres­sure.

The Raiders had ev­ery­thing on their terms in the first quar­ter, boot­ing 5 goals to the Pi­geons 2 to lead by 20 points at the first change.

The se­cond term saw the Pi­geons be­gin to gain mo­men­tum as they got on top of the Raiders all over the ground.

Pi­geon champion Tim Har­g­reaves led the charge for the Pi­geons, kick­ing six goals out of the team to­tal nine, to be the Pi­geons best player for the day.

A strong se­cond quar­ter had the Pi­geons only trail­ing by 10 points head­ing into the se­cond half.

The last half was con­trolled mostly by the Raiders, as they slowly but surely edged clear of the Pi­geons.

Pi­geon play­ers in Matt Irvine, Ross Mulquiney, Ri­ley Welsh and Da­mon Hem­phill con­tin­ued to bat­tle hard all day, but the Raiders pace and ball use was too slick for Pi­geons at times.

Some late goals to the Raiders saw the mar­gin stretch out at the end.

The Pi­geons will now re-group with a light week on the track and some pre-plan­ning for this week’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against the Wodonga Bull­dogs.

Yar­ra­wonga Pi­geons 9.2.56 de­feated by Wodonga Raiders 13.7.85 Goals: Tim Har­g­reaves 6, Travis Har­g­reaves 1, Ross Mulquiney 1, Xavier Kennedy 1 Best: Tim Har­g­reaves, James Elliot, Reid Clarke, Travis Har­g­reaves, Richard Han­dreck, Doug Arnold

Un­der 18s

This week the Un­der 18s trav­elled to Martin Park Wodonga to play the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal against the Al­bury Tigers.

The boys started well in what was a very even con­test.

Yar­ra­wonga’s tack­ling pres­sure early was tremen­dous with none bet­ter than Max Tem­pany.

Ma­cauley Lon­er­gan smoth­ered and goaled to get the boys on the board be­fore Matt Casey added to the to­tal shortly af­ter.

Ma­cauley added another just be­fore the siren to give the boys a one point lead at the quar­ter time break.

The se­cond quar­ter in­ten­sity was as good as the first. Matt Casey took his tally to three whilst Ro­nan Pritchard slot­ted his first to keep the side in touch.

Yar­ra­wonga’s back­line was un­der im­mense pres­sure but Darcy Nor­man, James Jor­don, Lachie Rouel and Isaac McMil­lan all worked hard to keep the tigers from scor­ing.

Zac Smith, Ma­cauley Lon­er­gan, Tay­lor Lewis and Jake MaConachie were all sup­ply­ing the side plenty of run but de­spite this the boys went in 9 points down at the main break.

The Al­bury Tigers had the run of the ball in the third and made the most of it.

Again Yarra’s back­line was un­der pres­sure and when Matt Casey marked strongly to kick the only goal for the quar­ter, the Pi­geons found them­selves down by 19 at the last break.

A strong pack mark by Ro­nan Pritchard gave the Pi­geons hope early.

Joe Gor­man was work­ing hard all round the ground and along with great de­fen­sive work by Darcy Nor­man this re­sulted Matt Casey kick­ing his fifth.

Un­for­tu­nately the boys were not able to hold back the strong Tiger at­tacks and found them­selves 26 points down at the fi­nal siren. Yar­ra­wonga 9.7.61 def by Al­bury 13.9.87. Best: M.Lon­er­gan, I.McMil­lan, M.Casey, Z.Smith, R.Pritchard, D. Nor­man.

Drew Barnes in ac­tion for Yar­ra­wonga against Lav­ing­ton on Sun­day.

Justin Perkins at full stride.

Mar­cus McMil­lan flies for the mark.

Nick Law­less un­der pres­sure in the con­test.

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