Sport

Best Battles - MFL

By Shepparton News

BEST BATTLES

Another edition of Best Battles has arrived – was your team on the right side of the memorable ledger?

MURRAY FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Cobram v Echuca United

Round six, 2019 at Echuca South Recreation Reserve

Echuca United 13.10 (88) d Cobram 7.11 (53)

When the Eagles and Tigers faced off last year, there were plenty of headlines heading into the match.

Former Essendon footballer Andrew Welsh would make his debut for United, while Cobram was aiming to keep its perfect record alive.

And the Eagles soared highest in a physical encounter.

‘‘Perceived pressure is a wonderful thing in football, and I think we established that early in the game,” United coach Guy Campbell said.

‘‘It allowed us to play the game on our terms.’’

United’s Josh Mellington and Cobram’s Matthew Demaio kicked three goals each.

Tongala v Congupna

Round 19, 2018 at Memorial Park

Congupna 6.15 (51) lt Tongala 8.11 (59)

Three goals from Riley Bacon handed Tongala its fifth and final victory of the season, with the Blues picking up the eight-point victory at Memorial Park.

It was a low scoring clash between the two lower-end sides, who would both end the year in the bottom five of a newly expanded Murray league.

Tonny got out of the blocks quickly, booting five goals to none in the opening quarter, leading at the first break by 30 points.

Congupna was the better side for the remainder of the match, however, the Blues did just enough in the second half to hang on for the win.

Deniliquin v Katandra

Round four, 2018 at Katandra Recreation Reserve

Katandra 16.12 (108) d Deniliquin 7.9 (51)

Katandra’s first win after joining the Murray league came in a 57-point demolition of Deniliquin in 2018.

The Kats’ first huge opportunity for a win, they came out hot and slotted seven goals in the first term, already 33 points ahead by quarter-time.

They kept the foot down throughout and eventually cruised to a huge win, well led by Luke Minogue, Pat Frappell and Will Jeffery.

Matt Riordan led the goal-kicking with four majors, while the great Corey Hickford was also dangerous with three.

For the Rams, Todd Gallagher impressed with two goals and was his side’s best.

The win would prove to be a decisive factor in the race for the wooden spoon, the Rams claiming that prestigious title with two wins, while the Kats finished the season with three.

Nathalia v Rumbalara

Preliminary final, 2018 at Mercury Dve

Nathalia 8.5 (53) d Rumbalara 7.7 (49)

Rumbalara was within reach of a home grand final and scuppering the greatest dynasty in MFL history when it kept Nathalia scoreless in the first half in the 2018 preliminary final.

But the Purples just know how to win knockout matches – as they should having last been eliminated from a finals series in 2004 and collecting 10 flags along the way.

It needed some midfield heroics from Tom Nihill and Bowen Smith – and plenty of grit and determination – but Nathalia was able to reel Rumba in and snare a four-point victory.

“It’s desperate, every contest matters and in the end with the conditions you just had to will the ball forward,” Nathalia coach Craig Kellow said.

“What we didn’t have in the first half was probably enough pressure. There would have been very few forward line stoppages due to our lack of pressure, so that was important in the second half to get more of that and we were able to generate a score.

“We were able to do it, dig deep and found a way.”