MYRTLEFORD'S senior footballers came out on top in their chilly contested slog of a game against Wodonga Raiders at Birallee Park on Saturday, the Saints dominating after quarter time to get the points 14.16 (100) to 7.7 (49).
Conditions meant wet weather footy was the name of the game, as Raiders initially restricted Myrtleford from playing their natural, free–flowing game style before the Saints kicked into gear.
A 21 point margin in the Saints' favour blew out to 42 coming into the final term, as Myrtleford piled on the scoreboard pressure.
Co–coach Dawson Simpson said the effort across the ground was extremely positive, particularly from the forwards.
"We went there and Raiders, in the first quarter, were certainly very hungry and they were playing some really good footy," he said.
"We didn't have it all our own way, it was a wet slog of a game but after the first quarter we were able to get the ball on our terms.
"It was a good result, I'm happy with how the boys performed after quarter time.
"The forward line functioned a lot better this week, we went with two talls – Ryley Sharp (three goals) and the resting ruck, either myself or Callum Crisp – and played a smaller forward line and they were really good, everyone chipped in with a couple of goals.
"Ryley's just in fantastic form, he's so reliable, he's a real leader and the way he goes about his footy and prepares so strongly each and every week, it's no wonder he performs how he does."
It was a challenge all day for the Saints' ruckmen against Raiders' Isaac Muller, who went up all day and won three times as many hitouts.
"Isaac Muller is an enormous quality ruckman and had a big influence on the game and was fantastic," Simpson said.
"There were a lot of stoppages and our mids were good, they took a lot of body and were able to nullify him a bit.
"It was a good contest in the midfield – early on he (Muller) was really big for them and got them going.
"After a bit we were able to set up and nullify his influence a little bit, but Isaac Muller played a huge game and credit to him."
Myrtleford's reserves enjoyed a cruisy win over Raiders 23.29 (164) to 1.0 (6), while the thirds suffered their fourth loss of the season 5.2 (32) to 6.4 (40).
The victory keeps Myrtleford in fourth on the senior ladder, ahead of Wangaratta Rovers on percentage, going into their match against Lavington this Saturday at McNamara Reserve.
The Saints will be eager to settle the score against the Panthers, following their upset loss in round one.
"There's no doubt we've got a lot of respect for Lavington and we're looking forward to having another crack at them and hopefully getting the score back to 1–1," Simpson said.
"We certainly went over there with the expectation that they were going to be a quality side, and we just couldn't get a hold of them all day – they were very fast with the footy, they moved it with good skill.
"In the last quarter we were able to get our game going but it was too late, we had a six goal deficit and we pared it back to about two goals and weren't quite able to get it done.
"A fast start or an intense start is what we're after."
A SURGE though the third term in Myrtleford's A grade netball match against Wodonga Raiders delivered the Saints a solid win, knocking down Raiders 43–35.
Slippery conditions early on in the match lead to unforced errors from both sides, with the Saints taking an early lead which was pared back to 15–15 by half time.
Myrtleford coach Tina Way said the performance from her girls in the third quarter to take a commanding seven goal lead really separated the two outfits.
"I'm very happy we had a dominant third quarter and we came away with a good win," she said.
"We changed a few minor things in regard to how we were playing the game and the girls really did a good job to take the lead into that quarter.
"We changed our centre pass structure, and how we were feeding into Rebecca (Piazza), we tweaked a little bit.
"We didn't do anything fancy, didn't do anything fantastic, we just put a bit of polish on what we were doing, the girls turned the ball over and were able to score, and that gave us a really great quarter that was able to set us up for the win."
Citing Raiders' ability to move the ball through the mid court at a pace and their height in defence, Way said her team was able to nullify any potential counterattacks.
"Sally Botter played goal attack against their tallest player and she got best on ground for us on the weekend," she said.
"She played herself up the court then we played wide on the centre pass which really took the goal defence's strength out of the game.
"Sophie Cappellari played on their quick little wing attack and she pushed her wide for the whole game and really slowed down their quick, dynamic play onto the circle edge.
"Saige Broz had a good game in wing attack, had three different opponents throughout the game, obviously she was beating the opposition.
"They're a great group of athletes that really take on any feedback that I give and we give to each other, the girls are really good at discussing anything they want to adjust between themselves as well, going out and applying the things we discuss and coming away with success."
The Saints face their greatest challenge on the court at McNamara Reserve this weekend, coming up against Lavington.
After last season's inability to find an answer to the Panthers' game style, and following Myrtleford's 56–29 bombing against Lavington back in round one, Way said the stage was set for a showdown.
"They had the jump on us in 2021 and a very big loss (to them) early this season, but we'll just be continuing doing what we're doing, developing ourselves and pushing ahead," she said.
"They beat us by a lot, and we would really hope to decrease that margin.
"We want to play well; I do have a different side playing this weekend compared to what played them last time.
"We just really want to be out and playing our game – a win would be unreal but I definitely do not want to have a loss deficit like last time."
The B and C grade Saints also came away with handy wins in their tussle with Raiders, while the 17 and under side were downed 27–46.
A FULL–STRENGTH Whorouly Lions A grade netball side secured a 13 goal win against the Tarrawingee Bulldogs on Saturday, taking control after an even contest in the first half.
The teams were well–matched in the beginning, with Tarrawingee taking a brief one–goal lead after the first quarter, and were leading 24 goals to Whorouly's 22 in the second quarter.
Whorouly pulled away in the third quarter, taking a six–goals lead into the last term and then cemented their position with a further 18 goals.
"It was a great win, we were really proud of the girls and how everyone played," Ebony Allen, Whorouly A grade playing co–coach said.
"We hadn't had a full team due to injuries and illnesses for the last few weeks so to have everyone back together this weekend and to get the win was great.
"The first half was a very even contest, I think Tarra were actually ahead at the first two breaks by two goals so for the girls to come out and win by 13 goals, it was an amazing effort.
"At half–time we spoke about coming out and just playing our game and keeping up that intensity to put as much pressure on Tarra as we could.
"That's when we started to pull away and get ahead, we just stepped it up a notch and utilised every opportunity we had to score."
Allen said it was a great team effort from Whorouly this week, with many players showing their mettle.
"Katie Ivone had a strong game in the ring putting up a lot of goals," she said.
"Bec Allen and Jane–Maree (Fitzpatrick) had a very consistent game through the mid–court feeding our shooters very well.
"Sally Wood had another outstanding game in defence, the pressure she can put on her opponents causes turnovers every week."
The win was the icing on the cake for Allen, who notched her 50th senior game as player and co–coach.
The Queen's birthday split round this week means Whorouly will face Goorambat in two weeks on June 18.
"We will use that to our advantage, we will still work hard and train both nights," Allen said.
"We have had a bit of a bad run with COVID so it will hopefully give everyone the chance to fully recover before the remainder of the season."
THE division 1 Savoy men showed their class on Sunday, with a comprehensive 8–1 victory over Wodonga Diamonds, setting the stage for their FA Cup semi–final clash tonight against Albury United.
Myrtleford had control of the match for the vast majority of play, executing to near–perfection with a range of players sending the ball past the goalie.
Jack Milford and Connor Caponecchia found the back of the net twice each, while James Purcell, Nagus Henry, Kaden Saric and Paul Mazambi also got on the board.
Coach Rob Caponecchia said the scoreline helped put to ease some lingering doubts from previous matches.
"It was a really pleasing result – considering what we did last week (4–2 loss to Albury City), I thought maybe the confidence would've been a little bit dented, but to their credit they came out with real purpose and real intensity," he said.
"Once we scored that first goal, we just dominated the whole match after that.
"There was a little period in there where they had a few shots on goal but it wasn't too serious or too dangerous.
"The most pleasing thing was we played like a team on Sunday, everyone contributed, everyone played their role really well."
A change up to their starting structure helped deliver the flurry of goals, and may be the missing ingredient which tips the balance in the Savoy's favour in tonight's FA Cup semi–final clash with Albury United.
"We did change the formation a little bit, we tried something different and that seemed to work OK," Caponecchia said.
"Normally we play a 4–2–3–1, but this time we changed it to a 4–4–2 and that gave us a little bit more of an avenue onto goal, which we thought we were lacking.
"We discussed it at Thursday night training, and on Sunday we implemented it – we felt it worked really well.
"It's going to be a really good challenge – I think the boys are going to be up for it because there's a bit of prize money at stake if you get into the final and it also gives us a chance to see if we can win some silverware.
"If we win this game we're into the final against Wangaratta, it's anyone's game. "
The division one women enjoyed the bye on Sunday, and with a league–wide bye this coming Sunday, won't be back in action until they front up against Albury United on June 26.
OTHER SAVOY TEAM RESULTS
Division 1 Women: Bye.
Division 2 Men: Results unavailable.
Over 35's: Wodonga Diamonds 9 def Savoy 1.
U17 Girls: Results unavailable.
U16 Boys: Bye.
U14 Girls: Wodonga Diamonds 0 def by Savoy 4.
U13 Boys: Wodonga Diamonds Red 9 def Savoy 1.
U12 Boys: Wodonga Diamonds Red 10 def Savoy 1.
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