It is often said that the weather like we had last Saturday right across our region is a great leveler when it comes to football but while that may have been the case in a few of our matches it does not really matter. We may indeed have similar cold, wet and windy days come finals time.
Riverland Football League
It was Rivalry Round and any doubt about the Waikerie and Renmark clubs being matched up in such a situation can now be really ‘binned’.
The Magpies and Rovers have probably tormented each other more than teams in the other rivalry match ups in the last 20 years or so.
For example Saturday Waikerie also held a reunion for its 1993 premiership team.
Back in that year Renmark had looked home and hosed for the flag after it belted Waikerie in the Second Semi Final.
But the Magpies then won the Preliminary Final against Loxton for another crack at a very confident Rover camp for the flag.
And it beat the red hot favourite by ten points with a new arrival in Waikerie Craig Griffiths named Best On Ground.
Certainly a seed for a genuine rivalry but as the years rolled by the fires would have been stoked when more recently each of the clubs took turns in upsetting the others Centenary Celebrations..
Now on Saturday the Rovers have again spoiled a Magpies party – courageously – as well as winning the Gill – Lehmann Cup.
Renmark led by 10 and 19 points at the first two intervals but Waikerie fought back to grab a narrow four point lead at three quarter time and when it extended this to eleven points it looked like the Magpies were flying to a win. But this Rover side, which many judges consider is a better unit than results suggest, was not finished and with Nick Malinovski superb it booted the last three goals to win, 13-11 (83) to 12-11(81). The upset victory keeps Renmark in touch with the top four and it was not surprising that in this ‘must win’ event skipper Trevor Thorpe was again his side`s best with others in strong support including Shane Walker and, with three crucial goals, Steven Pitt.
At Barmera the Roos took time to shake off its Fisher Cup opponent, injury riddled Berri, but after leading 5-13 (43) to 4-4 (20) at the long break it broke clear to a 14-6 (100) to 5-6 (36) victory.
The Elliott brothers Marc (4 goals) and Sam seem to have taken their own ball to recent matches and were high in Barmera Monash`s best again along with Best On Ground Matt Leyson. For the Demons Adam Willson, Rory Correll and Josh Knight gave their all.
100 years of football in the Loxton District was celebrated at Loxton as the Tigers and Panthers met in their annual Proud Cup clash. Unlike the 2013 game when Loxton North won right on curtain time by one point this time it was Loxton that controlled the match from the outset leading comfortably at each break before finally winning 13-10 (88) to 7-4 (46). For the home side 2013 recruits Bryce Williams and Chris Papageorgiou with the two big men Ash Montgomery and Ryan Nickolls (6 goals) were the best of an improved combination while for the Panthers consistent trio Josh Voigt, Josh Nelson and Michael Scott were again prominent throughout.
In OTHER GRADES there were two games at Loxton that were close. Firstly in a top of the table meeting in the Under 13`s Loxton just got home from Loxton North after a real arm wrestle 3-4 (22) to 2-8 (20) then in the B grade the Tigers again only just pipped the Panthers 13-4 (82) to 12-2 (74) after scores had been level at three quarter time.
Riverland Independent Football
Now we know for absolute sure. East Murray with three stand out players, Blake Milich, Chris Rudiger and Ben Whitehead leading an even and committed bunch are a very good side in this competition.
Last Saturday they doused the Moorook Kingston threat 12-13 (85) to 7-8 (50) with the big three starring again. A five goal second term turned out to be the match winner for the Tigers despite some strong efforts from the Warriors` Matt Morrell, Emanuel Ellis Yolmen and Ben Will.
At Paruna the Bombers also continued to drive towards the top four with a comprehensive 20-11 (131) to 11-8 (74) result against Ramco. Craig Hyde was Browns Well ‘s best with four goals while dynamo Brad Williams again starred and Michael Reichstein was solid. For Ramco, which led by over four goals at quarter time, Chris Allen, Dale Crouch and Logan Marr did best.
Blanchetown Swan Reach returned to the winners` circle but the reigning premier was not overly impressive and had to dig deep to defeat a gallant Cobdogla 7-14 (56) to 5-6 (36). The main contributors for BSR were Samson Marks, Dale Payne and Jamie Tanner while stand outs for the Eagles were Zachery Walker, Jordan Roissetter and, with four goals, Thomas De Jager.
Paringa produced yet another workmanlike performance to defeat Wunkar 17-16 (118) to 6-5 (41).
Jesse Watson and Dean Hill both contributed five goals to the Swans with Jamie Gudgeon and Brendan Pittaway named best while for the Bulldogs the stars were Adrian Lovegrove and Ian and Luke Worsfold.
Perhaps the power of radio resulted in the BDT camp being of the opinion that a lot of football followers were ‘hoping’ one of their opponents in the A grade Mallee competition would eventually bring their winning run to an end.
Anyhow on Saturday the Crows travelled to Murrayville and did a real job on the home side, 30-18 (198) to 4-3 (27). There were some new names in the honour list for BDT as well, Jarran Crabb and Kevin Kock joining regular Patrick Barrett while two other stars Ben Hooper, 6 goals, and Josh Richardson,5, could not rate a mention. It could be assumed then that it was not only a brilliant display but an even team performance while for Murrayville Kevin Wyatt, Ryan McCormick and Ali Vessali did at least try to give a whimper.
In a ‘must win’ game for both contestants’ Peake and Karoonda, it was Peake that was successful 11-14 (80) to 10-11 (71) . Shane Heinrich, Gabe Phillips (5 goals), Bryce Jaensch were Peake`s best while it was Brodie Chinner, Andrew and Josh Smithson that stood out for the Magpies.
In the third game at Lameroo Pinnaroo was on track for a second win for 2013 when it led the Hawks11-5 (71) to 9-8 (62) at the turn for home but the importance of the result was not lost on the home side and it lifted to kick 6-8 to 1-3 in the last stanza for a win, 15-16 (106) to 12-8 (80). Shane Agelis booted five goals for Lameroo with better players Billy McNeilly, Shaun Walker and Scott Fisher and for Pinnaroo regular stars Tyron Bennetts, Alex Keough and Bradley Schroeder were up and about again.
The premiership table is now BDT18 points, followed by daylight, then the others Murrayville,12, Karoonda,8, Lameroo,8, Peake,6, and Pinnaroo, 2.