Echuca prepares for finals push

By Riverine Herald

ECHUCA is locked into the top two of the Goulburn Valley League football competition — and in many ways is just waiting for finals to begin. Two more contests await, including this week against Shepp Swans. Echuca won the contest between the two easily earlier this year, but kicked horribly, a pattern that unfortunately continued for a lot of the season. Saturday will be about ironing out the kinks of the side as we approach the finals, so expect them to play some of their better football on the day.

■ LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER needs to win its final home-and-away match tomorrow — it’s genuinely that simple. Its Heathcote District Football League premiership defence is hanging in the balance, because if it loses and Mount Pleasant beats Huntly (and that’s as close to a certainty as we can see), then the Bombers are done for 2019. The Bombers’ match with sixthplaced White Hills, who have the superior percentage going into the match, is really the first elimination final of the year. No ifs, buts, or maybes, the Bombers need to win. Everything rides on this match.

■ MOAMA has that winning feeling around the club after its defeat of Rumbalara in the Murray Football League last week. And wouldn’t it be huge if they could keep that feeling this week. They play Barooga, the 2018 grand finalists who have just not made it back to their former form in 2019. The Hawks are still a very good team, but we have seen Moama play football good enough to beat them at stages throughout the year. If they can produce the same form for a full four quarters against Barooga, why wouldn’t they be good enough? This is so much more than a danger game, this is well within striking distance for the Pies.

■ MATHOURA return to Picola and District Football League finals action for the first time in almost a decade and has a massive task ahead of it if it wants to keep its season alive. Tomorrow’s opponent Rennie finished the year with a far superior record (11-5) compared to Mathoura’s 6-10 but the Timbercutters have consistently proven their best is good enough. In a strange way, Mathoura proved to be consistent against the best and inconsistent when facing the Picola and District’s ‘‘easybeats’’. If the good Mathoura show up it may well shock the other top eight sides. We’re expecting the Timbercutters to produce their best, but Rennie’s class should be a bridge too far.