Burras sit clear
Minyip-murtoa Kookaburras have flown clear of a Wimmera Football League field and stamped themselves as early premiership favourites.
The Burras are now a game clear on top of the senior ladder and with other teams this weekend have a chance to use a general bye to regroup and draw up fresh battle plans.
The Dunmunkle force overwhelmed a primary challenger in Horsham on foreign soil last week and in kicking away in the second half sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition.
While there is plenty of footy, along with its eclectic mix of form and intrigue to come, some long-term competition followers have made a profound and early call. They have gone as far as saying the 2017 flag is now Minyip-murtoa’s to lose.
The Burras have enviable diversity across the lines – from hard-ball winners and dashing outside players to key-position potency in attack and defence.
As the season progresses, opposition teams are going to find it increasingly hard to match up on their wealth of talent.
At Horsham City Oval last week slippery Oliver Young won best-player accolades and others such as Kade Petering, Pat Purcell and John Delahunty also had good games. Critically, big, strong match-winning Kieran Delahunty was prominent and Luke Chamberlain had an influence.
The Burras take on Dimboola when games resume next week.
Horsham had been matching the Burras as an unbeaten outfit until last week and coach Louie Dalziel and his brains trust would have gleaned plenty from the contest.
Goals were hard to come by for the Demons, Horsham kicking 5.12, although players such as Simon Hobbs, John Wood, Rhona Conboy and Deek Roberts flew the flag.
After the break the Demons will shape up against Warrack Eagles in what promises to be a fascinating clash.
The Eagles are gathering momentum and would have ticked off a major box in scoring a solid victory over Stawell at Stawell last week.
The Eagles are sitting third on equal points with Horsham and were always in charge in their clash against the Warriors.
A big second quarter provided the visitors with a considerable half-time break and despite a late comeback from the home side, still managed to win by 21 points.
A multi-pronged avenue to goal is paying dividends for the Yarriambiack force with Ryan Mckenzie leading from the front with four six-pointers last week.
He, ruckman Shannon Argall and others including Mal Douglas, Kieran Ellis, Dan Bell and Riley Morrow steered the Eagles to victory.
The loss was a major blow to the Stawell group, which has come unstuck in three major tests against high-quality opponents.
Coach Tom Eckel has plenty of talent playing alongside him with Jackson Dark, Sean Man- tell and Jesse Galea-portelli in form last week, but needs his troops to take a major scalp.
After the break the Warriors play Horsham Saints in what will be another crucial test.
The Saints chalked up backto-back wins, beating Ararat by 10 goals last week and nestling into fifth spot on the ladder.
What was significant in the Saints’ victory at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval was the form of coach Luke Fisher, who kicked five goals and appears on track to be approaching his best.
Regular suspects Jacob O’beirne, Sam Clyne and Bowen Friend featured and super veteran Gavin Kelm showed he was far from a spent force, kicking six goals.
Results suggest Ararat plays well in patches, the Rats’ six third-quarter goals last week suggesting as much.
But the Rats have won only one game and have a chance to improve the record against Nhill after the break.
Nhill will be a hard nut to crack, especially after the Tigers finally broke the ice with a win over Dimboola.
Nhill beat the Roos by more than six goals but had little opportunity to take the foot off the pedal.
Billy Hayes, Nathan Sachse, Jake Harrap and Ed Pritchard were the Tigers’ best, Harrap kicking four goals.
Dimboola needs to somehow find a winning formula but will find the going tough against the Burras next week.
Tom Magee keeps setting the benchmark for the Roos and Lachie Watts, Oliver Braithwaite and Mick Pohlner were also good last week.