Border Raiders junior progress in finals

By Brayden May

Men division one: The Border Raiders again travelled to Bendigo to take on La Trobe, who were playing for a place in the finals.

The Raiders played two completely different halves of football with the Raiders being on the wrong side of the equation with the first half being won by La Trobe.

Co-coach Simon Arkinstall said the Border Raiders were often flat footed in the first half.

‘‘La Trobe team clearly showed a greater commitment and desire for the football to take a 3-0 lead into half-time,’’ he said.

‘‘We sat back and just expected things to happen and there was an over reliance on a few players to do the work along with little respect for defence.’’

Despite the Raiders controlling the play and creating several attacking opportunities, La Trobe had men free when they broke from defence  which allowed them to create opportunities on which they capitalised.

Half time could not come quick enough as this allowed the Raiders to regroup and address the issues experienced in the first half.

The Raiders controlled the play in the second half and remained patient, which allowed the attacking opportunities to present themselves instead of trying to force the issue.

To the credit of the players, 45 minutes later they pulled themselves off the canvas, and consolidated third position on the table through a combination of skill, team work and an industrious second half performance, running out winners 7-3 in a contrasting afternoon of football.

The Raiders scored their first goal 13 minutes into the second half, which then resulted in a further six goals in the remaining 32 minutes.

Mitchell Langenbacher picked himself up a hat-trick, Cooper Arkinstall a brace and one each to Adam Brady and Lachlan Arkinstall.

The coaches indicated that these scoring opportunities resulted from much improved back line work especially from James Brown, Sam McCallan and then out wide with Fletch Kelly and Austin Linehan. 

The final championship game will be played this weekend with the Raiders playing Epsom at home with the game commencing at 3.00pm.

Under 14s: The Border Raiders youngsters have managed to keep their season after a 1-0 victory over Castlemaine in Saturday’s elimination final.

Mitchell Wilson’s first goal of the season proved to be the difference between the two sides with the Border Raiders now set to face Spring Gully for a place in the grand final against Epsom.

Under 16s: Moama Echuca Border Raiders under 16’s played Spring Gully in the first round of finals on the weekend.

Both teams came out strong creating a number of opportunities with the Border Raiders looking to dominate the game through the middle of the park and Spring Gully playing a more direct game with long direct passes in behind.

Neither team was able to score in the first half, however Spring Gully took the lead early in the second half.

The Border Raiders continued to push and managed to snare a late goal to push the game into extra time.

The Border Raiders came out firing in extra time dominating the period and creating a number of chances.

The boys finally managed to score a second goal after a shot from Josh Bavich took a deflection and ended up in the top corner.

The match finished 2-1 sending the Border Raiders through to the Grand Final on Saturday September 21.

Women: The season ended in a strange way for the women’s team after their match was abandoned after just 33 minutes.

Due to Swan Hill’s injuries, the visitors fell below the required seven players and could no longer continue.