Under 16s go 4 and 1
On a wet and windy day at the Grove Oval the Yarrawonga Under 16s dug deep to record a victory in a see-sawing contest.
While the side was well below its best and 4 quarter players were hard to find, a win is a win.
Leading from the front was vice-captain Tylar Hemphill.
He was in everything with a tackle count in double figures. His ability to will himself to keep his feet (despite fighting out of his weight division and copping a couple for his efforts) and use the first option all day was a highlight.
Hemphill was assisted by a strong game from Isaac McMillan who initially controlled the defensive half and then the midfield later in the game.
James Jordan was again solid and his ground ball skills in the trying conditions were excellent.
Austin Frauenfelder was important for the side and he seems to find a way to find himself in the right spots at the right time.
Brock McCabe provided a focal point all day and his willingness to compete on the ground, especially in tandem with Tylar, laid the foundation for a number of repeat entries.
However, the work was left to too few with a number of players finding the trying conditions too difficult and a re-focus on the training track is vital.
The side has been somewhat fortunate with its draw but this week it faces a further test against a strong Scots outfit on their school ground.
Best Players: T Hemphill, I McMillan, J Studd, H Cartwright , J Jordan
Goals: S. Mickelson 2, O. Conway 2.
Under 14s suffer narrow loss
Round 5 saw Yarrawonga Under 14s take on Wodonga Raiders Red on a very wet JC Lowe Oval.
From the first ball up, Raiders, led by their on ball brigade, blew Yarrawonga off the park winning every clearance, stoppage and breaking tackles at will.
Kicking against the wind Raiders kicked 4goals 4 in a dominant display of team football. Quarter time couldn’t come quick enough for a shell shocked Yarrawonga outfit.
A refocussed Yarrawonga outfit came out after quarter time and began to slowly work their way into the game starting with the basics of manning up and winning the hard ball.
Confidence grew amongst the group that if they played team football the tide would start to turn.
Tully Woodward and Thomas Hicks got on top of their opponents and with hard running turned defence into attack keeping the Raiders scoreless.
A couple of positional changes at half time saw Yarrawonga again start to get on top.
Matt Nieuwenhout gathered a loose ball in the goal square and kicked his first ever goal in Yarrawonga colours to register the Pigeons first goal of the game.
This lifted the team and they responded with more scoring opportunities falling to BJ Martin who like Matt kicked his first goal for Yarrawonga closing the gap to two goals in an exciting quarter of football.
Raiders were able to score a cheap goal through a lack of concentration late to stretch their lead to 19 points at the siren.
Despite Raiders kicking a late goal Yarrawonga’s energy was up and the players really believed for the first time in the game they could pull off a great win.
Ned Pendergast took control of the backline dominating at centre half back and directing play around the ground, this gave the Pigeons a spark which lifted the team.
Play makers Fletcher Wallden, Max Hemphill, Zac Banch, Reece Norman, Will Wheaton and Ben Woodburn all started to have an impact on the game.
Full forward Liam Martin was the beneficiary of Yarrawonga’s dominance kicking 2 classy goals closing the gap quickly to 8 points.
In the end the boy’s efforts weren’t enough, falling short of what would have been a remarkable win. Instead were left pondering on what might have been.
Scores: Yarrawonga 4-4-28 def by Wodonga Raiders 5-6-36
Goals: Liam Marin 2, BJ Martin 1, Matt Nieuwenhout 1.
Awards: Matt Nieuwenhout, BJ Martin, Nick Gorman, Liam Martin.
Under 12s winning streak continues
The Yarrawonga Under 12s remain undefeated in the AWJFL after a hard fought win over Wodonga Raiders Red in slippery conditions at JC Lowe Oval on the weekend.
The young Pigeons adjusted to the conditions early in the game with little men Jy Leonard, Cameron Lefevre and Mitch Loughnan putting their body on the line at the bottom of the packs.
It was a pair of first-year Pigeons in Jyda House and Max Mickleson who both stamped their class throughout the contest. House was particularly impressive up forward leading hard and taking numerous marks before capping off his hard work with two goals.
Mickleson has taken his game to another level through hard running and an ability to win one on one contest, the youngster was all over the ground in a best on ground display.
The skilful Dylan Steele flourished with more mid-field responsibility this week winning plenty of the ball across the ground.
Skipper Hudson Gillies marshalled the troops superbly across half forward and then again in the back half. Sam Hemphill continued his excellent season with a strong all round performance.
Coach Chris Kennedy highlighted the strength of the group comes from the squad of 37 players training every Tuesday night, participating in Friday night football before putting on the Pigeon hoops on a Sunday morning.
The young Pigeons head to Albury next week to take on Albury Gold.
Scores: Yarrawonga 2.6.18 def Wodonga Raiders 1.1.7.