GVL | Echuca clips gallant Swans to notch 11 straight wins
Echuca’s dominant season in the Goulburn Valley League has continued.
The Murray Bombers stretched their winning streak to 11 after accounting for Shepparton Swans by 61 points at John Riordon Reserve on Saturday.
Echuca weathered a spirited but wayward first-quarter charge from the Swans to take a nine-point lead at the first break, while the Swans failed to capitalise on early opportunities with seven behinds until Nathan Rachele snapped their inaccurate run with their first goal.
Coming off a 10-goal haul last round, in-form forward Ruory Kirkby drew the attention of Swans defender Ben Gilberto, but nonetheless began to exert his influence on the contest in the second quarter as the Murray Bombers kicked away with a five-goal-to-one term.
Echuca then crafted a typically busy third-quarter performance to put the game to bed, converting another five goals to take a 50-point lead into the three-quarter time huddle.
The Swans finished strongly with four goals, but it was Echuca’s day en-route to a 16.19 (115) to 7.12 (54) triumph, the Murray Bombers’ 11th straight.
Echuca co-coach Simon Maddox praised the “workmanlike” performance of his side, while also crediting the Swans for the “best pressure” the Murray Bombers have experienced in recent weeks.
“Credit to Shepp, if they had kicked straight in the first quarter it might have been a bit more interesting,” Maddox said.
“I thought they were quite competitive. They didn’t take the foot off the pedal all day.
“They probably brought the best pressure we’ve seen in four or five weeks.”
Kirkby’s hot streak in front of goal continued with another five against the Swans, taking his season tally to 43. Cooper Barber and Liam Tenace added three each to Echuca’s 16 goals.
Jack McHale collected plenty of the football through the middle of the ground and Maddox praised Sam Willoughby for his performance.
“Sam Willoughby was good with his pressure all day, he kicked a few goals as well,.” he said.
“Ben Reid and Curtis Townrow were good down back, Ruory kicked five and took a lot of marks. It was just an even spread (of contributors) and a workmanlike performance.”
Swans midfielders Zac Banch and B.J. Squire were in the thick of the action in Shepparton’s first-quarter charge, while Will Dwyer, Max Clohesy and Andrew Riordon toiled hard in the Swans’ ninth defeat of the season.
Echuca will now look ahead to a blockbuster first versus second clash against Euroa at Memorial Oval.
The Magpies sit a game behind the Murray Bombers and are currently on a 10-game winning streak of their own after a 29-point victory over Shepparton Bears at the weekend.
More importantly, Euroa was the last team to inflict defeat on the rampant Echuca, claiming a 16-point win over its premiership rival in round 11 last year.
“Obviously Euroa at Euroa is a tough task,” Maddox said.
“We’ve had a run of three or four easier games, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us.
“They got us over there last year, and got us reasonably well. We know when they’re up and playing really good footy that they’re a good side.
“We’ll go over there hoping to play our brand of footy, be red-hot and look to come away with another win.”
Echuca remains atop the Goulburn Valley League ladder with an 11-1 record.
Echuca: 3.4, 8.8, 13.19, 16.19 (115)
Shepp Swans: 1.7, 2.8, 3.10, 7.12 (54)
Echuca: Ruory Kirkby 5, Cooper Barber, Liam Tenace 3, Matt Lias, Sam Willoughby 2, Jack McHale.
Shepp Swans: Lachlan McMahon 2, Zac Banch, Russell Eden, Nathan Rachele, Andrew Riordon, Liam Rachele
Echuca: Jack Mchale, Ruory Kirkby, Sam Willoughby, Kane Morris, Cooper Barber
Shepp Swans: Max Clohesy, Zac Banch, Bryden Squire, Will Dwyer, Andrew Riordan
- Echuca walked away from John Riordon Reserve with a clean sweep of wins in the football as several grades returned to play after a two-week hiatus.
In the reserves, Echuca has been waylaid by two successive opposition forfeits but rebounded with a 160-point victory on the back of Luke Edwards’ 13-goal haul.
Echuca sits third with nine wins and three losses to its name, with a top-four clash against Euroa to come.
Meanwhile, the top-four clash between Echuca and Shepparton Swans in the under-18s went right down to the wire, with the undefeated Murray Bombers pulling away in the final quarter.
Holding a five-point lead at three-quarter time, Echuca kept the Swans scoreless to run out a 10.10 (70) to 7.4 (46) winner, keeping its unblemished record intact thanks to a five-goal haul from Will Rohde and starring roles from Elijah Bruns and Lachlan Watson.
The under-16s notched a 28-point win over the Swans in the second versus third clash, with Tom Evans, Jaxson McMinn and Cody Walker starring.