Round 18 Review

Yarrawonga has taken out the minor premierships in both football and netball in the SS&A OMFNL for season 2023 following the completion of the home and away season. 

In football, the Pigeons finished equal with Albury on fourteen wins and two losses but in the final wash up held a stronger percentage of just under ten percent. 

While in the netball the Pigeons finished two games clear of both Wangaratta and Lavington to put itself in a great position to defend its 2022 premiership. 

Week one of the football finals will see the qualifying final at the home of Wangaratta Rovers the WJ Findlay Oval between Albury and Wangaratta on Saturday. 

Staying in Wangaratta the elimination final between the Wangaratta Rovers and Wodonga will be across the road at the Norm Minns Oval. 

The Pigeons proved too strong for Wodonga at Wodonga winning by 46 points with Willie Wheeler continuing his great form with a great game. 

Brayden Coburn ( 3 goals) had his best game of the season along with the emerging defender Ned Pendergast, Ryan Bruce and Bailey Fraunfelder on his return. 

Josh Mathey, Matty Wilson, Adam Jorgensen and Mitch Dineen were excellent for Wodonga, while livewire small forward Noah Spiteri kicked three goals. 

Traditional cross-town rivals Albury and Lavington put on a brilliant display of football in perfect conditions at the Lavington Sportsground. 

The Tigers led by outstanding games from Riley Bice, Jake Gaynor, Lucas Conlan and the ever-improving Kolby Heiner-Hennessy prevailed by ten points. 

Lavington dug deep to be competitive all day to celebrate its inspirational leader Luke Garland’s 250th game. Garland responded to the occasion with three goals. 

Again it was the reliable and consistent foursome of Shaun Driscoll, Ewan Mackinlay, Billy Glanvill and Tom Hargreave that kept the Panthers in the hunt. 

A feature of the game was some of the talented Murray Bushrangers on display for both clubs with Connor O’Sullivan (Albury) and Jess Hart (Lavington) having a great battle. 

Albury potentially has the return of five genuine A graders Anthony Miles, Rhys King, George Horlin-Smith, Isaac Muller, and Elliot Powell for this week’s final. 

Wangaratta Rovers bounced back in excellent fashion by handing the inform North Albury a 62-point defeat at the WJ Findlay Oval. 

The Hoppers were expected by many to post win number eight but got a taste of what the Rovers can produce when they are on their game. 

Highly rated youngster Darcy Wilson in just his third game for Rovers thrilled the local crowd with a stunning display that confirmed why he is a potential AFL Draft pick later in the season. 

Another young gun and Geelong VFL listed player Will Christie booted four first-half goals to set up the Rover’s confidence booster heading into September action. 

Despite the loss North Albury can go into the off-season incredibly satisfied with what they have achieved with its seven victories for the season being above what many expected. 

Wodonga Raiders celebrated its second win of the season with a gutsy 17-point win over Myrtleford at the McNamara Reserve and in doing so handed the Saints the wooden spoon. 

Nick Bracher, Brad St John, Hayden Clarke and Nelson Bowey were best for the Raiders who came from behind at halftime to dominate the second half with six goals to one. 

The Saints will rue wasted chances in front of the goal that cost them a bigger lead at halftime and then with 0-5 in the third quarter. Simon Curtis with three goals was their best. 

It completed a great day for the visitors with it’s A grade netball side shocking the Saints with a comfortable 61-41 victory to make its first finals appearance in 19 years. 

The win was on the back of a stunning 22-goal first quarter by the Raiders. Saints Tina Way was playing her 150th game – both these sides will clash in Sunday’s elimination final. 

Lavington retained its top three positions with a 52-34 win over Albury with veteran Ange DeMamiel starring for the Panthers, while Brigetta Singe was the Tiger’s best. 

North Albury finished its season in style defeating Wangaratta Rovers 66-50 in an entertaining clash, while Yarrawonga proved too strong for Wodonga winning 72-41.