Bur­ras sit clear

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

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.

Mo­men­tum

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.

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