Benalla Ensign

KDFL Swans are the benchmark

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Violet Town welcomed premiershi­p favourites Avenel on Saturday in perfect conditions.

It was a chance to see if the Towners are up there with the best playing the best.

The answer is yes, but a bit to go to catch this smooth Kasey Duncandril­led outfit from Swan land.

Avenel was all over the home side early with the Towners’ defence under enormous pressure, but Ryan Jennings and Jett Bewick’s back six held firm.

Nine shots to three by quarter time gave the visitors only a 16-point lead, but they looked dominant.

The Towners started to make some ground in the second quarter, with Tim Ross quelling the Avenel coach and the onballers started to dictate terms.

Two late-quarter goals hurt though, the margin 21 points at the long break.

The second half started with the home side on top, the margin was cut to nine points before three late goals from the visitors enabling them to be 28 points up at the late change.

A see-sawing battle in the last, again the margin was reduced, this time to 12 points, but the flag favourites showed their class kicking three late goals to run out deserving winners by 30 points.

It was a beautiful day in front of a good crowd, almost finals conditions, Avenel was the better side and duly saluted.

For the home side James Herring belies his years, a natural hard nut centre half back, against a talented opposition forward line he was amazing, hopefully a 200-game veteran in 10 years.

Jack Exell at centre half forward is the recruit of the year, brilliant and kept the Towners in with a chance all day particular­ly early.

Assistant coach Jett Bewick was like a general down back, under pressure but such a cool head and clever.

The veteran Tim Ross saluted again, never plays a bad game, what an engine and tough as nails could’ve played in the ’70s and ’80s easily.

Lachy Baldwin consumed the football, a regulation 36 touches he made sure the on-ball brigade ended up taking the chocolates on the day, while Zach Berthun with 25 touches was instrument­al in many forward thrusts and defensive moves.

Charlie Hunter playing his first game was good until an untimely injury shortened his game.

We would also like to thank our many volunteers for what they did on the day, for both sides, all clubs are short if you can help let your clubs know.

Violet Town in particular need help with trainers; football and netball is the heartbeat of small towns.

Next week Violet Town is away to Merrigum — if you can get there by supporting or getting onboard against the Bulldogs that would be great. Violet Town: 11.4.70

Avenel: 15.10.100

Best: L.Baldwin, J.Exell, J.Herring, Nathan Abley, R.Dowell, A.Overs

Goals: J. Mellington 5, J.Exell 4, J.Styles 1, F.Brazil 1

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