The Yarrawonga Pigeons have produced a fantastic display to defeat North Albury by 46 points at Bunton Park.
The Pigeons were playing with their eighth debutant for the year with both Travis Hargreaves and Jordon Urquhart playing their first senior Ovens and Murray games. Both were prominent throughout the day with Urquhart kicking a great goal.
The Pigeons opened the scoring through Tim Cooper who kicked a goal from around the fifty metre arc.
Brayden Coburn continued to impress and after linking with Matt Gorman saw Drew Barnes kick his first goal. The Pigeons highlighted their team work with Gorman, Ed Bayles, Tom Wallis and Craig Ednie dominating for passages of play.
The Pigeons were being hit hard and in turn laid crunching tackles to slow the Hoppers.
Wallis was again the go to man up forward and the pressure by Barnes and Coburn allowed goals to be kicked.
From the next clearance the Hoppers goaled but Ednie answered with a classy goal and then Jess Koopman kicked a stunning goal from a pack. At quarter time the Pigeons led by 27 points.
North Albury was able to score the first goal in the second, but the Pigeons had multiple forward entries beforehand without success. Riley Welsh was great in the ruck and is starting to stamp himself as a premier ruckman in Ovens and Murray football with his effort and perseverance paramount.
North Albury continued to challenge the Pigeons at stages but the Pigeons finished off the quarter with goals to Tyler Bonat and Jess Koopman to see the Pigeons half time lead at 42 points.
The Pigeons midfield brigade were causing damage with the likes of Tim Cooper, Ed Bayles and Brayden Coburn delivering quality possession to forwards in Wallis, Barnes and Koopman.
The third term saw the Pigeons continue to gather possessions through contested hard work and Tyler Bonat found Nick Lawless who marked and goaled.
The Pigeons dominated the term adding a goal to Koopman while restricting the Hoppers to a solitary behind for the quarter.
The lead at three quarter time was 64 points in the Pigeons favour.
The final quarter started in a scrappy manner with North Albury trying to shut down the Pigeons.
Travis Hargreaves laid several good tackles and a great kick found Barnes who kicked long to Damon Symes who took a high flying mark. After returning to earth, Symes slotted the goal from twenty metre out from goal.
North Albury kicked an answering goal before Nick Lawless again added another Pigeons goal.
The highlight for the Pigeon faithful in the final term was when debutant Jordon Urquhart kicked his first goal in first senior Ovens and Murray goal and players from across the ground ran to congratulate him.
Koopman kicked the final goal for the Pigeons to finish with five goals for the day.
The final term saw the Pigeons outscored by North Albury, five goals to eight, but continue to bring young players through who are prepared to work to the game plan which is pleasing to coaching staff.
Also pleasing was the return to senior football of Matt Gorman who added another dimension for the Pigeons rotations and Brandon Symes is a chance to return next week against Lavington in the reserves with Brad O’Connor also a chance to return.
Chronicle Award; 5 – Tim Cooper, 4 – Jess Koopman, 3 – Riley Welsh, 2 – Tom Wallis, 1 – Craig Ednie.
The Yarrawonga Reserves have secured another win against quality opposition with a 39 point victory over North Albury.
Despite the Pigeons conceding the opening three goals of the game they still led at quarter time by 1 point and then won every quarter kicking four goals in each quarter of the first half and then three each in the final two quarters.
Matthew Grinter continued his excellent form with five goals in a dominant all ground display.
Key forward Reid Clarke kicked four goals and continues to build on a good start to the season. Ross Mulquiney again proved he is a quality defender with excellent disposal and leadership across the field.
Doug Arnold and Matt Tregenza played well while Mitchell Welsh continued to push claims for the key big man in reserves football.
Jack Vodusek again played a quality game and is vital for the reserves chances of a final campaign.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons Under 18s continue to dominate the Ovens and Murray competition with a 96 point victory over North Albury away from home.
Bailey Frauenfelder fresh from an Under 16 Murray Bushrangers campaign and selection in the Victorian Country Under 16 Training Squad was best on ground with 3 goals and a mountain of quality possessions.
Matt Casey was the outstanding forward on the ground kicking 8 goals in a classy display of marking and goal kicking.
Ronan Pritchard and Macaulay Lonergan continue to be dangerous around goals, kicking multiple goals for the fourth time in season 2016. Ryan Bruce continues to work hard and is showing signs of a big game in the coming weeks.
Top age players Bailey Scott, Harry Crossley and Jim Irvine continue to show great leadership and ball winning ability and a liking for the hard contested football.