Horsham District Football League match against Pimpinio at Pimpinio.
Despite rain making life hard for outdoor sporting activities on Saturday, the downpour came as a blessing for broadacre farmers across the region. The weather system, which in some areas of the Wimmera produced up to 35 millimetres, sparked speculation about the forecasting benefits a new Rainbow weather radar station will provide for the region.
Edenhope-apsley has an opportunity to tighten its grip on second place on the Horsham District football ladder with a win against Pimpinio in round 12.
The Saints’ quietly successful 2019 campaign continued with a 33-point win against Noradjuha-quantong on Saturday, moving the team above Swifts into second place.
In a round where sodden conditions kept all but two teams below 50 points, the Saints were only let down by their own inaccuracy in a 9.17 (71) to 5.8 (38) win against the Bombers.
The match was a hard-fought scrap for three quarters, with the Bombers holding a narrow three-point advantage at the last change, but the Saints blew their opponents away with 5.7 to 0.0 in the final term.
Bart Nolan, Carl Slape, Taylor Milner, Shayne Williams and Cam Domaschenz all kicked goals in the final quarter rout, with Williams joining Lachie Middleton, Jak Ryan and Billy Finnigan among the Saints’ best players.
Midfielder Jason Kerr sloshed through the mud to finish the day as the Bombers’ best player alongside the likes of Jack Vague, Dustin Cross and Zane Batson.
The other team to top the half-century was, unsurprisingly, reigning premier Harrow-balmoral in a 24.14 (158) to 1.0 (6) win against Taylors Lake.
Such was the Roos’ dominance that a seven-goal haul to James Staude saw him named only the team’s fifthbest player behind Peter Staude, Cody Deutscher, Mick Phelan and Clinton Robinson.
Mitch Whelan, Dean Harberger and Heath Kelm played hard for the overmatched Lakers, while Lachlan Marks registered their only scoring shot for the day with a goal in the second quarter.
Jeparit-rainbow navigated the torrential conditions at Jeparit Recreation Reserve better than the visiting Swifts to win 7.4 (46) to 1.7 (13).
The Baggies grabbed an early lead with a Martin Carey goal in the first quarter but scored only four behinds after quarter time, as the Storm got busy in the second.
Goals to Peter Weir, Liam Preston, Billy Hunter and Ben Marra gave the Storm a 24-point advantage that, with the rain stymying Swifts’ runners, proved match winning.
Marra and Hunter were among the Storm’s best, while Nick Pickering and Corey Mifsud were standouts for the Baggies.
In a round marked by waterlogged grounds, perhaps the most waterlogged of all was Pimpinio Recreation Reserve.
Boundaries at the oval were shortened to avoid huge puddles, and both teams agreed to play reduced 15-minute quarters.
In the ensuing mudfest only three goals were kicked, the final score showing Rupanyup 2.6 (18) defeating Pimpinio 1.2 (8).
The Tigers looked a chance to win their first game of the season when Simon Nuske goaled in the second quarter to reduce the margin to one point at half time, but the Tigers did not register another score for the game.
Goals to Trent Grant and Matthew Weidemann were enough to give the Panthers a victory, while defender Paul Trotter helped keep the Tigers in single digits.
Nuske and Daniel Baker were Pimpinio’s top performers.
Natimuk United joined Edenhope-apsley and Swifts with a 7-3 record after defeating Laharum 6.10 (46) to 3.4 (22).
Both teams had three individual goal kickers, but Rams Jaydon Stiles, Max English and Mitch Riddell all kicked two goals, while Laharum’s Tom Crawford, Lochie Hateley and Jed Mcconville each booted singles.
Laharum will now face a Noradjuha-quantong team desperate for a win as it tries to keep its season alive, while the Rams will host the Baggies in a top five clash.
Taylors Lake and Rupanyup will do battle at Dock Lake Reserve, Edenhope-apsley will be hoping conditions are drier when it travels to Pimpinio and Kalkee will return from a bye to face Harrow-balmoral at home.
MAKING A SPLASH: Rupanyup’s Trent Grant finds himself in the middle of a football ‘sponge’ during a sodden
BEDRAGGLED: Rupanyup’s Jesse Hutchins struggles to get the ball clear amid a mass of bodies.
SO CLOSE: Pimpinio’s Simon Nuske gets a kick away over Rupanyup defender Scott Niewand. Nuske kicked the Tigers’ lone goal for the day and was named the side’s best player. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER