Bur­ras ap­pear­ing vul­ner­a­ble

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

The pres­sure is on in Wim­mera Foot­ball League and the nee­dle this week­end is point­ing di­rectly at Minyip-mur­toa.

The Bur­ras, a com­pe­ti­tion pace-set­ter for the past cou­ple of years, are ap­pear­ing vul­ner­a­ble to say the least.

For­get the team’s re­sult last week against Stawell.

While the War­riors are get­ting harder to beat as the sea­son pro­gresses, it was a game most ex­pected MinyipMur­toa to win.

What’s be­com­ing no­table is that the Dun­munkle out­fit, on pa­per at least, seems to lack its trade­mark venom.

Cir­cum­stances in­volv­ing depth, in­juries, player avail­abil­ity or sim­ple form can of­ten ex­plain a team los­ing its killer edge.

What­ever it is, the Bur­ras find them­selves in a tough fight this week­end.

The Bur­ras play Hor­sham Saints at Hor­sham’s Cough­lin Park in a con­test that could go ei­ther way, de­pend­ing on which team ar­rives on the day best ready to play.

A ques­tion mark also sits over Hor­sham Saints, who af­ter a crush­ing win over South­ern Mallee Gi­ants but with­out its unavailable star path­way teenagers, crashed by three goals against War­rack Ea­gles last week.

Minyip-mur­toa sits pre­car­i­ously in fifth place on the lad­der and the Saints, af­ter briefly tast­ing top spot, are now third.

Both will be well aware that they have en­tered the busi­ness end of the sea­son.

Con­vert­ing mid­field pos­ses­sions into goals looms as a po­ten­tial prob­lem for both sides, al­though finer con­di­tions might open more scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Last week the likes of John De­lahunty, Clint Mid­g­ley, Matt Cole­man, Cooper Bate­son and Gus Trethowan flew the flag in a dog­fight with Stawell.

For the Saints it was the ir­re­press­ible Xan­der Mcrae, coach Luke Fisher and An­drew Dev­ereaux who tried to lead their team on an­other win­ning ven­ture.

None of this will be lost on the play­ers, and fans at this game can ex­pect dogged ef­fort from both camps.

Ea­gles still there

War­rack Ea­gles, fresh from scor­ing a re­bound­ing win over the Saints, will lis­ten with in­ter­est for re­sults as it over­whelms Dim­boola in a bat­tle for the Borung at Dim­boola.

The sixth-placed Ea­gles, a game be­hind the Bur­ras, are an­other team hop­ping around some­where in the fi­nals mix and last week’s win would have been a sig­nif­i­cant con­fi­dence-booster for Ryan Mcken­zie and his men.

Mcken­zie was at the front of the charge, along­side Nick Peters, five­goal Jeremy Clay­ton, Shan­non Ar­gall and Ben Spicer.

Dim­boola is off the pace, de­spite the ef­forts of Josh Edgar, Justin Beuge­laar and co, and the Ea­gles, light on for per­cent­age, will be on the hunt for a big win.

Fourth-placed South­ern Mallee Gi­ants blew any frus­tra­tions it might have kept from a bad loss to the Saints with a big win over the Roos.

Gi­ants back on song

This week the Gi­ants travel down to Nhill where the Tigers, while be­ing com­pet­i­tive, have a tough first half of the sea­son.

The Gi­ants were back on song at Hopetoun last week with Leigh Ste­wart, Sam Wed­dell and Haydn Drew lead­ing the charge.

In the end it was the Gi­ants who had 48 scor­ing shots to Dim­boola’s five, with 13 play­ers in the win­ning side kick­ing goals.

At the same time Nhill was no match for re­ju­ve­nated Ararat, which af­ter the ef­forts of Dan Men­des, seven-goal Lach­lan Hamil­ton and Harry Gan­ley, sits sec­ond on the lad­der with a chance this week to re­group with a bye.

The Tigers are al­ways hard to beat at home and will chal­lenge the Gi­ants for at least part of the con­test.

Nhill, with Jor­dan Zeitz, Liam Al­brecht, Ben Jones and Scott Hughes all good last week, can­not af­ford to again give its op­po­nents a big head start.

Reign­ing pre­mier Hor­sham, sit­ting un­beaten on top of the lad­der, could be for­given for be­ing a lit­tle am­biva­lent to all that’s hap­pen­ing be­neath it.

The De­mons, af­ter a rest, take on Stawell, which has a loss, win, loss, win, loss record for its past five games.

Stawell had Naish Mcroberts, Tom Tau­rau, Jack­son Dark and Bai­ley Tay­lor in good nick last week, but will need all hands on deck to beat the De­mons.

IN DIS­PUTE: Ararat’s Tom Mills and his Nhill op­po­nent Harry Wheaton get tan­gled in a fight for a loose ball at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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