After swapping places for only a week with Loxton North Barmera Monash hopped back into the valuable second position on the Riverland A Grade premiership table when the 2016 minor round ended on Saturday.
The Roos defeated Renmark 15.9 (99) to 6.9 (45) after scores were tied at 4.1 in the first term.
The Panthers on the other hand would be disappointed at a less than encouraging attempt to protect the double chance in the finals when it trailed 0.2 to 4.5 at the ended of the first stanza against the Magpies at Waikerie and then slipped gradually to defeat 7.5 (47) to 13.13 (91).
The thought that Loxton North would be ‘disappointed’ is probably right but a look at the Waikerie Honor Roll from the game one indicates that that this may be one of the most even Magpie lineups for some time. The return of Reid Beeching has been a real bonus and he scored a game high 4 goals in this outing. The best player list of Aaron Thompson, Gerard Dutton, Matt Spencely, Tristam Geehman and Matt Butcher reflected how deep this team goes as regular occupiers of the acknowledgements including Jim Thomson, Luke Exton, Craig Miller, Tim Bevan, Clark McCatty, Ryan Shaw and co could not make the cut.
For North this continued an erratic season for the sensational 2015 premier. Nathan Brown, Scott Meneghetti, Ryan Gray and Maison Eckermann did best.
Disrupted by injury the Barmera Monash camp simply just got the urgent job done. Luke Thomas and Richard O’Grady (3 goals) again occupied one and two on the best player rankings followed by Ben Drogemuller (3), Steve Burton, Jake Smith and Kaiden Coats. For Renmark this ended a disappointing 2016 after the preseason hype but the reappointment of its coach indicates that the club feels that with a better run with injury and so much junior talent around 2017 can only have upside.
Meanwhile Berri has slipped off the radar almost as a flag fancy with a ‘lack of goal scoring options available’. Well on Saturday Scott Mumford booted nine in his club’s 16.11 (107) demolition of Loxton 2.12 (24). Grady Obst, Nick Hankin, Mumford, Ben Grose and Michael Voigt all stood out for the Demons while working hard for Loxton were Michael Kirk, Braden Falting and Ryan Borowski.
The Demons loom as a danger to Loxton North in next week’s elimination First Semi final.
For the proud Tiger camp the sigh of relief that one of its most challenging seasons ever across the grades has ended would have probably rivalled the final siren. Injury and contract issues left the team for the last game bearing little resemblance to the side that defeated Loxton North in the opening round and loomed as a threat to the rest of the competition.