Pigeons win in nail-biter
Yarrawonga faced off against the Lavington Panthers in the first elimination final and the match was a real nail biter.
The match got off to a slow scoring start with neither forward line able to get a good look at the ball.
Lavington put the first major on the board at the fifteen minute mark before Yarrawonga quickly followed suit.
Jess Koopman kicked his first before a strong Brandon Symes mark put the Pigeons in front.
Jess Koopman brilliantly roved a pack to kick his second and give his side an 8 point lead at the first break.
The low scoring battle continued in the second with Yarrawonga’s backline performing well. Beau Seymour, Travis Hargreaves, Scott Oswald, Jake Wild and Matt Casey all worked hard to prevent the Panthers from scoring and wing men Ryan Bruce, Bronson Schofield and Brady Pritchard did their best to drive the ball forward.
Again Jess Koopman bobbed up to kick his third and Brad O’Connor added to the score to see the Pigeons up by 6 points at the main break.
Brandon Symes got the side off to a great second half start with a major in the first few minutes and then Xavier Leslie used his wealth of experience to snap a great goal from the pocket to extend the Pigeons lead.
Yarrawonga’s midfielders in Tyler Bonat, Matt Gorman and Harry Wheeler were in everything all day but stepped up their workrate in the third.
Their hard work resulted in young gun James Jordon kicking his first and Jess Koopman driving through his forth.
The Panthers not to be outdone kicked a couple of late goals to reduce the Pigeons lead to 12 points going into the final quarter.
The last quarter turned into a ripping contest.
Lavington posted early goals before Brandon Symes in his 100th senior game and James Jordon, got the Pigeons back on track with straight kicks.
Lach Howe had worked hard all day and despite a couple of heavy falls still managed to lift himself off the deck to win the rucking contests.
A late goal from a 50 meter penalty saw the Panthers back in striking distance.
With only seconds left on the clock a Lavington kick inside the 50m line was about to find its target when Tyler Bonat showed great desperation to run back with the flight of the ball and manage to spoil the mark.
From the spill Lavington took possession and under intense pressure squared the ball only to see the siren go before the mark was taken.
The Pigeons home by 4 points.
A great hard fought win that will see the Pigeons take on the Wangaratta Magpies in the 2nd Elimination final this weekend.
Yarrawonga 10.12.72 def Wod Raiders 1.2.8
GOALS – YarrawongaM. McCabe 3, M. Grinter 2, C. Wiles, X. Kennedy, M. Dwyer, C. Wilson, J. MaConachie.
BEST – J. Gallagher, M. Collins Bye, C. Tregenza, M. Lonergan, W. Robinson, R. Clarke.
The Yarrawonga second 18 were able to continue their strong defensive form to win SENIOR SCORES
Yarrawonga 3.3 5.6 9.8 11.11 77
Lavington 2.1 4.6 7.8 10.13 73
GOALS – Yarrawonga: J. Koopman 4, B. Symes 3, J. Jordon 2, B. O’’Connor, X. Leslie. Lavington: J. Hunt 2, A. Prior 2, L. Ross 2, B. Dickson, J. Harland, A. Flagg, N. Holman. BEST – Yarrawonga: T. Bonat, H. Wheeler, L. Howe, X. Leslie, T. Hargreaves, J. Jordon. Lavington: S. Curtis, T. Hargreave, N. Meredith, J. Hunt, T. Hanna, N. Holman. the Qualifying Final against Wodonga Raiders.
The back six showed sheer desperation in the way that they worked together to hold the Raiders team to only three shots on goal for the day.
Mitch Collins-Bye, Cameron Tregenza, Will Robinson and Reid Clarke were all fantastic in the way that they were able to turn defence into attack.
Isaac Byrne continued his strong form again and held the league’s leading goal kicker goalless.
The Pigeon boys got off to a good start but were unable to capitalise on their dominant forward entries and kicked 1 goal from 7 shots.
Jayden Gallagher was impressive with his ball use and Joe Gorman was giving the team first look at the ball at the centre bounces.
After a few adjustments at quarter time, the Yarrawonga team found their groove and put through 6 goals.
The team held field position which allowed the forwards to cause turnovers through their pressure acts.
At halftime the team were in a strong position having held the Raiders team to only 1 scoring shot.
At the halftime break the team were implored not to become complacent and be ready for the Raiders team to make a strong comeback.
That they did, but the Yarrawonga team continued to defend valiantly.
The second half was an arm wrestle with both teams having patches where they were in control of the ball.
Next week the team will be looking forward to challenging themselves against the Albury Tigers in the Second Semi Final at Bunton Park, North Albury.
Yarrawonga 12.5.77 def Albury 10.9.69
GOALS – J. Brooks 4, B. McCabe 2, T. Lawrence 2, A. Frauenfelder 2, J. Sexton, M. Evans.
BEST – T. Whelan, A. Byrne, J. Sexton, W. Woodburn, T. Hemphill, I. McMillan.
On a perfect spring morning the 3rds took on a high quality Albury outfit and in a genuine arm wrestle came away with the “W”.
The game started with Alex Byrne winning the ruck, clearing the middle and delivering to Jack Brooks deep forward and from there Alex did not look back and was the dominant tall on the field for the day.
In a roll of the dice the Yarrawonga side went tall in the front half but it was the pressure from all that was telling.
Tim Lawrence’s return to form has been highlighted by his defence and a tackle count of 6 gave the clearest of indications of his desire to hunt the opponent with the goals coming as a result.
The back group of Sharpe, Meade, Sim and Whelan were excellent keeping the usually high scoring Tigers to 10 goals.
However, special mention must be made of the defensive role played by Tylar Hemphill.
Whilst his possession count only just reached double figures his defensive performance was jammed packed with highlights were he nullified contests and locked down Albury advances.
Through the mid zone McMillan, Sexton and Woodburn continued to fight and their combined performance as the main midfield group was instrumental in not only providing the drive into attack but also keeping control of Albury’s dangerous run.
This Saturday at North Albury (9.30am) the young Pigeons take on the ladder leader Wangaratta Rovers for a place in the Grand Final - your support would be greatly appreciated.
James Elliott lays a hard tackle on a Panther opponent.
Jess Koopman looks to kick one of his four majors.