Benalla Ensign

Breakers must reset

- By Meg Saultry

Benalla Breakers’ road to its first ever finals series just got a lot trickier, after the side dropped its roundfive away game to Myrtleford on Sunday.

The Breakers’ round-six clash against Shepparton Gators this Sunday looms as a must-win for a team hoping to make a maiden final series in just its third season in the league.

But the burgeoning team failed to pull the trigger early, falling 12-points short of putting itself in poll position a game out of finals.

“Considerin­g we had a nine-nil lead, then scored four points in the next 16 minutes, it was pretty abysmal,” coach Wally Armstrong said.

“Our defence was poor, we tried to rush the ball too much, and continuall­y turned the ball over, so we copped a right whack in the end.”

Consistenc­y between its best and worst has been a major issue for Benalla this season, with Armstrong admitting that had become a major focus for the team between rounds.

“You've got to be scoring 70 plus points as a team consistent­ly to play at this level,” he said.

“So, to lose with a score under 60 is not up to scratch.

“We’ve got to become a team who plays consistent­ly and doesn’t play on highs and lows.”

With the ball now in Benalla’s court, they face the Gators on Sunday with the knowledge it’s anyone’s game for those two finals spots.

“It was no different at training on Monday, we worked on things we thought were poor on Sunday,” Armstrong said.

“Shepparton has two games this weekend, but they are not a bottom side at their best, so we won’t go in taking it lightly.

“Basically, from three to the bottom (of the ladder) is open to everyone.”

Armstrong thanked the public for its support so far, particular­ly that of the associatio­n’s volunteers who made games possible each week.

“There is so many untapped people behind the scenes, who without, the program doesn’t exist,” he said.

“If the players can draw on the fact they are also doing it for these people, hopefully we come away with the win.”

Benalla Breakers’ roundsix men’s game starts at 1pm on Sunday, February 14, at the Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre.

Benalla Breakers women’s 2021 season came to a close on Sunday — though realistica­lly the result was not what the young team had in mind.

The Breakers struggled to match up against a more experience­d Saints side, going down by 61 points.

Ebony Grace led the scoring for the Breakers, while Gertie McCallum was also active.

Junior footballer­s in Benalla are on the precipice of returning to the field, with Benalla Bulldogs and Giants scheduled to begin pre-season training this week.

Benalla’s under-14 and under-17 players will start training at Arundel St Ovals tonight (Wednesday, February 10) with the session running from 4.30 pm to 6 pm.

Meanwhile, the under-12s will begin their own training at the same time and place, albeit on Thursday, February 11.

All players are encouraged to attend, with new players seeking to play this year also welcomed.

Please note, under-17s will cater for boys born from 2004-2006, under-14s welcomes boys and girls born in 2007 and 2008, while the under-12s teams are made up of boys and girls born 2009-2010.

As no football was played last year, the under-12s allocation­s made ahead of the 2020 season will be reconsider­ed after three training sessions.

New under-14 and under-17 players will also be allocated to teams by the committee.

COVID-19 protocols will be in place, with players and officials required to sign in and sanitise on arrival. Players must also bring their own drink bottles.

If you cannot attend these sessions, but wish to play, email Violet Town seeking junior footballer­s and netballers

Violet Town Football Netball Club will hold its first junior training and informatio­n night this Thursday from 5 pm.

The club is on the look out for more players, and offers under-18s football (boys, born in 2003-2007) as well as under12s football (boys and girls, born in 2009 onwards).

In its netball ranks, the club offers an under-17s team (girls, born in 2004-2005), an under-15s squad (boys and girls, 2006-2007) and an under-13s team (boys and girls, born in 2008 onwards).

 ?? Main man:
Karl Phillipson ?? Benalla player Patrick Mahoney led the side in scoring against Myrtleford on Sunday.
Main man: Karl Phillipson Benalla player Patrick Mahoney led the side in scoring against Myrtleford on Sunday. Picture:
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