Sport

Echuca wins local battle

By Andrew Johnston

THE two youth girls football sides of the twin towns didn't have to wait long to meet in a final.

In the first season to feature the sides in the Shepparton and District Junior Football League competition, Echuca and Moama went head to head in the first semi final - and it was Echuca who got the chocolates.

Holding Moama to just one goal for the contest, Echuca dominated in a scrambly contest, booting eight majors in a 42-point win.

Echuca coach Chris Mitsch said his team was ecstatic with the result.

"It definitely means a lot to us," he said.

"There was a bit of back and forth between the players in the school yard during the week which is fantastic. We looked at how much Moama have improved since we played them earlier this season, they wanted to continue to improve and get the win.

"There is a sense of real pride within this group about Echuca being the first youth girls side, so there was definitely an extra bit of desire to get the win and beat the little sibling in the first final.

"They played an incredible game and got the result we all wanted, so we couldn't be happier."

Though Moama's season has come to an end, coach Matt MacKay said he couldn't be prouder of his club.

"The players are disappointed obviously, but there is a real sense around the club that we have achieved something fantastic this season," he said.

"Of the 28 players on our list, 25 had never picked up a football. They wanted so badly to learn and they have gotten better every week and were playing fantastic footy by the end of the year.

"The girls would have preferred to still be in the competition, but they've lost no love for football. All the girls have said they want to play on in 2020 and are already asking when we can restart training so they can continue to improve."

Echuca will now take on Shepparton Notre in Sunday's preliminary final.

"Notre and Shepp United have been the best teams all season," Mitsch said.

"They're fantastic teams, and they will be a great challenge for us as we try and earn a spot in the grand final."