Hor­sham Dis­trict Foot­ball League match against Pimpinio at Pimpinio.

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

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.

Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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

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