ECHUCA UNITED’S season crashed to a sudden ending on Saturday, failing to make any meaningful impact in the Murray Football League’s first elimination final against a rampaging Barooga line-up.
Played in Mulwala, the game was the Eagles’ second consecutive thumping. Saturday’s 98 point loss to the Hawks came a week after a 139-point loss to Numurkah.
A season filled with improvement and promise was only going to continue for the Eagles if they could bring their best football, and it was anything but after quarter-time as Barooga kicked 14 goals to two to ease into the second week of the post-season.
The contest was hot early. United lifted for the occasion to get on top at the stoppages and get the game moving its way.
But Barooga’s class couldn’t be contained for too long, and the Hawks took over towards the end of the opening stanza to sneak out to a 16-point lead.
The Hawks’ weapons up forward were on full display throughout but the backline was just as classy, and at 37 points ahead at half-time they were comfortably poised for the win.
The hammering didn’t stop. Barooga’s dominance only increasing in the third term with 12 scoring shots to one, 7.5 (47) to 1.0 (6), blowing the margin wide open to 78 points by the final break.
Result sealed, the intensity dropped in the last with United unable to find a goal, the Hawks cruising through to next weekend’s semi-final.
United champion Duane Hueston didn’t get a performance from the side fitting of his 200th senior game, but did contribute well individually to be named the team’s best on ground.
Other standouts were consistent contributors Brayden Worsnop, Marcus Roberts, Dean Moon and Lance Oswald.
Barooga’s strong forward line was led by Spiro Vourgaslis with five goals, Lucas Olson, Tim Brooks and Will Gorman each helping themselves to two.
Half the Hawks’ line-up kicked a major, co-coach Tyrone Downie acknowledging post-game how important the spread would be to keep winning finals.
‘‘It’s definitely a good thing to have, you can’t really rely on one or two guys to kick a winning score by themselves come finals,’’ he said.
Downie said he hadn’t been sure what to expect from United, the Eagles beating his side the only time they met throughout the season.
But the co-coach was thrilled his side put on a performance illustrating the massive steps forward taken in the back half of the season.
‘‘Definitely the last couple of months have been much better, we couldn’t get it going early but we’ve got real confidence and belief in each other,’’
‘‘We look forward to next week and we will go in confident we can win if we play our brand of footy.’’