Another tough flight for Eagles
By PETER MILLER
Warrack Eagles have climbed the mountain and pitched their tent but now have to weather a storm at Dimboola before they can take in the view.
The Eagles were focussed and disciplined in their incredible three-goal win over Horsham that ended a 35-game winning streak by the Demons. They shut down Horsham’s game and used their finely tuned engine room to power through the Demon lines with a big second half.
Now the Eagles have to settle back in the nest and prepare for a thumping encounter against a rejuvenated Dimboola. The Roos opened slowly against Horsham RSL Diggers but as soon as the rain came, their big bodies took charge and dive-bombed the match.
Hamish Exell was brilliant in his return match, hitting contests at top speed and setting up play with a decisive handball or accurate pass. His brother Lachie was like a duck with a rudder in the slippery conditions and kicked many of his goals from snaps.
Jackson O’Neill used his powerful frame to advantage in the conditions, marking strongly and busting packs while Ryan Bell handled the conditions well and Darcy Dubois played like a mini-me of Oliver Braithwaite.
The depth of the Roos means they can mix and match more this year which allows coach Gary Davidson to get creative with his approach to each new challenge. And the Eagles will provide an enormous challenge.
Schultz brothers Steve and Grant have also cultivated versatility and there’s no better example than the wonderful stopping role regular forward Peter Weir played at centre half back. Ben Harrison is in great form and can play any position, including ruck, while Steve Schultz has the unique combination of maximum power and silky skills.
Teenager Jack Wilson has proved a revelation stepping into the seniors and Jarred Martin has now settled into the extra speed and open flow of Wimmera League. The Eagles have started something and while Dimboola is quite capable, it will not be able to stop them.
Horsham v Ararat
Poor Ararat. After an emblematic bye-related slow start, the young Rats gave everything in their game against Minyip-Murtoa last week and outscored the Burras in the second half. But now they have to travel to Horsham to meet the seething Demons who will be out to make a proclamation.
Harry Ganley returned with the same scintillating form he showed before the bye and nuggetty Luke Todd revelled on the heavy track. Aiden Lee has given the Rats plenty of run while Brendan Lovell works hard in defence with Brad Harricks. Stephen Phillips also played well last week.
Horsham needed a loss. It would have felt foreign to them but it had to happen, if nothing more than to lift the spirits of the league.
Joel Geue has enjoyed his return to the Demons camp and is generally allowed to roam free by the opposition because there are only so many on which they can concentrate. His four goals against the Eagles has taken his tally to a healthy 30 for the year and he proved to be the only damaging forward.
Paul Adlington insists on a major contribution every week which means a guaranteed 30-40 quality disposals per game. After switching mid-season from Noradjuha-Quantong, Ryan Stacey found his feet and will add to the Demons’ running brigade while Shaun Gilbert has also settled in now.
Chris Walsh is always reliable and Jeremy Hartigan gives everything to each contest. Horsham will make the most of a return to the City Oval and win convincingly.
Horsham Saints v RSL Diggers
After a reasonable first half, Horsham Saints are starting to shine and must seriously be looking at a top-three position. The Saints’ engine room coughed and spluttered for many of their early games but now it’s running like a finely-tuned V-12.
Phil Butsch can take much of the credit because he is enjoying every minute on the field and bringing young team-mates into the game. He has also made life easier for Nathan Clough and Garry Hallam who are combining well and feeding from the ruck work of Michael Rowe.
- Get the full story in the July 5, 2012 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.
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Posted on Jul 4 2012