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WFL| Round 12: Stawell, Minyip-Murtoa in headline clash

IN THE CLEAR: Horsham Saints utility Nathan Clough finds space during his team’s crushing Sunday derby win over arch rival Horsham at Coughlin Park. Picture: WILLAMY IMAGES

IN THE CLEAR: Horsham Saints utility Nathan Clough finds space during his team’s crushing Sunday derby win over arch rival Horsham at Coughlin Park. Picture: WILLAMY IMAGES

If players from Minyip-Murtoa and Stawell needed reminding about the rivalry that exists between the two Wimmera Football League clubs then they only need show up at Murtoa on Saturday.
There has been a sense of urgency in games between the two since Minyip-Murtoa upset Stawell in a 1996 grand-final showdown and 20 years on, the intensity remains.
While the personnel from both camps have long changed since that memorable day back at Dimboola, the stakes remain just as high in 2016.
It just so happens that Minyip-Murtoa will celebrate a reunion of its 1996 premiership glory on the same day it attempts to stamp its authority over the visiting Warriors as both sides jostle for position in a run to the finals.
For Jaye Macumber’s Burras, the contest represents an opportunity to kick clear of Stawell and to make a serious tilt at realising their reputation as premiership favourites.
Macumber agreed the game was important in the Burras’ push towards the season climax.
“This is like a final for us and huge in the context of our season. It really is an eight-point game,” he said.
“We’re going okay. We had the loss we deserved against Horsham Saints, showing what happens when you don’t prepare and play well enough. I like to think that gave us a good kick up the bum and reminded us why we need to play four quarters.”
The Burras have since won against Ararat, Dimboola and last week Nhill with Clinton Young leading the charge. But the big test looms in the form of the Warriors this week.
“On the injury front we look like we’re close to getting a few back and players such as Clinton Midgley and Adam Gerdtz are building form in the twos. Tom Cooper also got through his first game in the seconds,” Macumber said.
“If blokes are playing well we are rewarding them. Corey Morgan went back to the reserves but came back to the senior side last week and kicked six goals.”
Stawell coach Brad Thomas, after leading his team to what he described as ‘an ugly’ win over Ararat, also agreed Saturday’s game was important.
“Four sides could realistically win the premiership and it’s all about maintaining your list and hitting form at the right time of the year,” he said.
“In this league if you play your best footy you can beat anyone on your day.
“It’s really important to get into the top three if you are fair dinkum about finals and trying to win every match. I’m a true believer in needing to focus on ourselves. Considering the occasion it’s probably a bigger game for them than us so the pressure is more on them.”
Thomas said players such as Jack Beaton and David Andrivon were doing well through Stawell’s midfield but there were others ‘doing the hard yards’ behind the scenes.
“You are only as good as your bottom three or four,” he said.
Good news for the Warriors is the growing confidence of James Delahunty, who had been out injured but kicked nine goals in the reserves last week.
“I’d be surprised if he played in the seniors. We don’t want to rush him and it’s something we’ll need to chat about,” Thomas said.
Jamie Bach, Jesse Poulton, John Pollock and Liam Scott are also pushing for senior selection while Aidan Potter will be unavailable.
Eagles probing
While the the Burras and Warriors lock horns, Warrack Eagles will probe for a few answers about Horsham’s tumbling form, especially now a spot in the top five appears up for grabs.
The rebuilding Eagles enjoyed a 59-point win over Dimboola last week before Horsham suffered its second heavy loss in a row, this time by 74 points against Horsham Saints in a big Sunday derby at Coughlin Park.

For full story, see the June 29, 2016 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.

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Posted on Jun 29 2016

Posted by on Jun 29 2016. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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