Kyabram Free Press


Bombers no match for top Demons side

- By Aydin Payne By Gus Underwood

Shepparton United has regained its crown in the Goulburn Valley League A grade competitio­n following its 43-goal rout of Kyabram on Saturday.

The Demons flexed their muscles in their return to the court — following the hiatus of the league due to COVID-19 restrictio­ns — to pencil in a 75-32 triumph at Deakin Reserve.

The percentage-boosting win allowed the Dees to climb back into top spot on the ladder with two rounds to play.

An eye-catching 19-goal blitz in the first term set the tone for the rest of the match.

With a lead of 13 at quartertim­e, United did not hold back in the remaining three quarters as it piled on another 54 goals.

Without Jemma Hall due to injury, Dees mentor Tania Orchard was able to give valuable game time to rising stars Molly Kennedy and Sophie Garner.

It was a memorable day for a trio of Mooroopna talents in its side's comfortabl­e win over Seymour.

Maddie Wong, Ash Lancaster and Georgia Gattuso enjoyed happy milestone matches as the

Cats cruised home to the tune of 17 goals.

Wong celebrated game 200, while Lancaster and Gattuso donned the blue and white colours for the 100th and 50th time respective­ly.

Mooroopna began the game in clinical fashion.

The away side posted 14-7 in the first term, before entering the main break with a 24-12 advantage.

Seymour, missing three starting players due to COVID-19 restrictio­ns, was unable to match the Cats’ clean and precise ball movement.

It has taken a group of desperate kids and a few old heads to rediscover Kyabram Bombers’ mojo.

Decimated by COVID-19 restrictio­ns ruling out key players and looking only a tad different to a glorified reserves team, the eager and desperate young Bombers ended Shepparton United’s finals aspiration­s with a dominant display at Deakin Reserve, Shepparton, on Saturday when the Goulburn Valley League’s season resumed after the latest lockdown.

When a Kyabram side is missing Lachie Smith, Jason Morgan, Zac Keogh, Kayne Pettifer and Nick Coulstock, finding replacemen­ts of their calibre and experience looks a momentous task no matter who the opposition is.but nobody told the players asked to step up to fill the gaps how difficult it could have been.

Desperatio­n, fierce tackling, numbers at the ball and quick movement into the forward line turned out a simple recipe for success for the Bombers on the day.

Dominance in the midfield generally decides the outcome of games at Deakin Reserve and this was no exception.

Midfielder­s in Nic Denahy and Kaine Herbert were exceptiona­l with their consistent ball-winning ability over the entire course of the game and, along with ruckman Zac Norris, kept Kyabram moving forward all day.

It was Denahy’s breakout game for the Bombers and he was inspiring all day. Herbert was also a standout.

Winning the opening quarter after another COVID-19 stoppage for three games was also going to be a key and the Bombers did this with the first five goals of the game on Saturday, triggered by young gun Charlie Barnett with the first goal of the game.

And while mentioning kicking goals, ‘The Wiz’ Kyle Mueller was back in town. He appreciate­d the quick movement into the forward line and won many one-on-one and one-on-two duels to finish with five goals and as many behinds.

Mueller wasn’t the only livewire forward with Aidan Robinson and Cooper Vick presenting all day.

Robinson also relieved Zac

But the home side did manage to win the third term which trimmed the deficit to eight goals, only for Mooroopna to pile on 15 goals in the last term.

Wong was judged best-on in the 48-31 result, while Dayna Williams and Bree Hanslow provided great support.

Bridie Cantwell and Ellie O'sullivan flew the flag for the Lions.

Lastly, Echuca powered past Shepparton to remain inside the competitio­n's top-two.

The Murray Bombers were too strong on their home deck and prevailed 54-27 over the Bears.

Norris in the ruck on many occasions and held his own there as well. He plays with a lot of passion and looks a future matchwinne­r.

Kyabram’s defence leaked only three goals for the game and it was the work of Tom and Jack Sheldon, Jake Parkinson and Riley Ironside in particular who shut down the United forward line.

The Bombers also had inspiratio­ns in their smallest men in Mitch Gugliotti, Liam Dillon and Billy Mclay who got the callup while thirds players in Charlie Barnett and first gamers Adam Pulsoni and Ryan Hatch showed they weren’t out of their depth from the chances they got.

Josh Dillon again never took a backward step like all of his teammates.

After a lot of convincing, cocoach Brad Edwards lined up for his first game for the season and added a lot of experience and physicalit­y to Kyabram’s forward line.

Kyabram co-coach Mick Mattingly said he was proud of the players’ efforts.

‘‘It was one of the best games since I have been associated with the club. Every player showed a lot of passion and desperatio­n,’’ added Mattingly.

Apologies to those Kyabram players I haven’t mentioned in my best players because everyone did something to help with the resounding win and to keep the side in the battle for a double chance.

But an immediate serious challenge awaits with Mooroopna this week at Mooroopna with the Cats fresh from knocking over Seymour last Saturday. The Cats will be a lot tougher prospect than United.

And if the players who missed last week are available, the selectors will certainly have a busy time sorting out a side.

My best for Kyabram: Nic Denahy, Kaine Herbert, Zac Norris, Kyle Mueller, Jake Parkinson, Aidan Robinson, Mitch Gugliotti, Cooper Vick.

■ Resreve and under 18 football on page 18.

 ??  ?? Kyabram's Nic Denahy gets some air over the Demons.
Megan Fisher
Kyabram's Nic Denahy gets some air over the Demons. Picture: Megan Fisher
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 ??  ?? Ktyabram’s Micaela Herbert shoots on goal against Shepp United. Picture: Megan Fisher.
Ktyabram’s Micaela Herbert shoots on goal against Shepp United. Picture: Megan Fisher.

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