Bur­ras con­tinue strong fi­nals run

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Minyip-mur­toa will shore up its po­si­tion as out­right favourite to win this year’s Wim­mera Foot­ball League flag when it out­guns Hor­sham in match of the round on Satur­day.

Many have been wait­ing for the un­beaten Bur­ras to stum­ble but it sim­ply hasn’t hap­pened and a win over the Demons at Mur­toa will in­ject even more con­fi­dence into the group.

The clash at Mur­toa is a big game. There are plenty of psy­cho­log­i­cal spoils up for grabs – from in­di­vid­ual match-ups across the lines to the club per­cep­tions over­all.

Minyip-mur­toa re­mains fresh and mo­ti­vated af­ter shrug­ging off Stawell in what loomed as a dan­ger game at Cen­tral Park last week.

De­spite Stawell be­ing a fi­nals chal­lenger and hav­ing plenty of in­cen­tive to do well with 30year premier­ship cel­e­bra­tions, the vis­it­ing Bur­ras were never re­ally in trou­ble.

A five-goal-to-one open­ing term es­tab­lished a plat­form for a com­pre­hen­sive 57-point vic­tory with reg­u­lar play-maker John De­lahunty, slick Oliver Young, dom­i­nat­ing big man Kieran De­lahunty and five-goal for­ward Bray­den Ison lead­ing the charge.

At the same time, at Dim­boola, Hor­sham throt­tled the Roos, also putting the game be­yond doubt with a pow­er­ful open­ing term.

For the Demons Ryan Kemp, Joel Geue and Deek Roberts bagged 16 goals be­tween them, with Jack Men­tha, Billy Lloyd and Josh Mibus also col­lect­ing votes.

A huge as­pect in favour of Hor­sham is that it will en­ter this week­end’s clash as an un­der­dog, some­thing it would rarely en­joy.

The Demons are likely to try to adopt a cre­ative as well as negat­ing game to turn the ta­bles on the home side. They will be con­fi­dent of match­ing the Bur­ras on the deck but will need to some­how take the sting out of the Bur­ras’ tall tim­ber.

Re­gard­less of how it all un­folds, the game should be a rip­per, with the Bur­ras get­ting home by 14 points.

Ea­gles v War­riors

Sit­ting be­low both the Demons and Bur­ras in the top five are War­rack Ea­gles and Stawell, which will meet at War­rackn­abeal’s An­zac Park.

The Ea­gles have just about se­cured a fi­nals dou­ble chance in third spot and a win over the vis­it­ing War­riors will con­firm as much.

The Ea­gles were more than 10 goals bet­ter than Ararat last week and at this stage shape as a ma­jor fi­nals dark horse.

The Yar­ri­ambi­ack com­bine, when on song, opens up scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and last week it was Jesse Mur­phy and Jack Wil­son who en­joyed the pri­mary spoils with five goals each.

Kieran El­lis, rarely miss­ing from the Ea­gles’ best-player list, again won votes on Satur­day, as did Harry Trezise and team barom­e­ter Ryan Mcken­zie.

Stawell has to pick it­self up off the can­vas and crit­i­cally, re-es­tab­lish ways of kick­ing a win­ning score.

Travis Gra­ham was an im­por­tant in­clu­sion last week and kicked three goals, but he was the only mul­ti­ple goal-kicker.

David An­drivon has been an im­por­tant goal­kicker this year and was good again on Satur­day. Stawell has an out­stand­ing lead-by-ex­am­ple coach in Tom Eckel. Cam Kim­ber and Jesse Galea-portelli were also in the best last week.

But the side needs to play well col­lec­tively to re­turn to win­ning form.

Saints v Rats

The Ea­gles will have an edge at home and win by 27 points.

Hor­sham Saints, mean­while, ap­pear to have stitched up what was a swing­ing fifth spot by beat­ing Nhill and now take on Ararat at home at Cough­lin Park.

The Saints are in a po­si­tion where ev­ery game they play is a 50-50 propo­si­tion and Satur­day is no ex­cep­tion.

Ararat has the team ca­pa­ble of up­set­ting the Saints’ ap­ple­cart, es­pe­cially if Jack Gan­ley, Grady Slo­combe, Nick Men­des and Alan Batch­e­lor can con­tinue good form.

The Rats also have a chance to ex­ploit the strength of Gor­don Laurie against the Saints.

Hor­sham Saints came from be­hind to beat Nhill in a pro­found re­sult last week, with Xan­der Mcrae and Jacob O’beirne lead­ing the charge and Sam Jasper kick­ing four im­por­tant goals.

The Saints will again do it hard but will win by 17 points.

Nhill will be kick­ing it­self for let­ting an­other chance slip by and now faces a Dim­boola side, which will give it­self a chance of caus­ing an up­set.

The Tigers were up at the last change last week but watched a four-point ad­van­tage turn into a 12-point loss.

Ben Kir­sopp, Billy Hayes and Lu­cas Dahlen­burg led best-player lists for the Tigers and Cal­lan Semple kicked four goals.

Nhill takes on a Dim­boola side al­ready busy plan­ning for next year and with lit­tle to lose.

The Roos have had a dis­ap­point­ing year and would have hated be­ing on the end of a 20-plus belt­ing at the hands of Hor­sham and are sure to seize any op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ben Miller was Dim­boola’s best last week, ahead of Mick Pohlner and Jay­den Lehmann and Jack­son O’neill.

Nhill will win by 30 points.

BIG MEN FLY: Stawell’s Jack Beaton and Minyip­mur­toa’s Kieran De­lahunty in a ruck con­test dur­ing a Wim­mera Foot­ball League clash at Stawell’s Cen­tral Park. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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