Fighting fit for battle of Bombers

June 27, 2017

ECHUCA Football Club handed down a 53-point battering of home side Shepparton United on Saturday in the Goulburn Valley League.

An even spread of contributors saw the Murray Bombers kick 16 goals in their sixth win of the season — and fourth in a row — at Deakin Reserve.

The previous week’s efforts saw them with as many scoring shots over their opposition which resulted in just an 18-point win against Seymour.

It’s given Echuca a lot of confidence ahead of their toughest game of the year, playing the undefeated Kyabram Bombers this Saturday.

Coach Andrew Briggs said it showed the team’s improvement in finishing off inside 50.

‘‘It was something we focused on going into the game,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘We had eight more scoring shots than Shepparton, which was the same as last week, and just shows when you kick straight the sort of scoreboard pressure it can create.’’

The Murray Bombers’ first half was strong despite a timing issue in the first quarter which saw play go for only 20 minutes.

They still managed to score five goals in the opening term and only let through two goals to be up by 19 points at quarter-time.

‘‘We started well but we probably lost a bit of momentum in the first quarter with the timing difficulties,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘We responded well in the second quarter and were able to use our inside 50s effectively.’’

It saw them kick another 4.4 ahead of half-time while the backline shut down the Demons who kicked just two goals and one behind.

The Murray Bombers’ 34-point lead at half-time stretched to 45 at the final break mainly due to the efforts of their forwards.

‘‘Ruory Kirkby was our best up forward and for the game,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘He took a lot of marks and kicked four goals plus another five or six behinds.

‘‘Simon Buckley and Tim Allan were also strong contributors and Jordan Florance was able to kick a few so it was good to have him back in the action.’’

Buckley and Allan both kicked two goals while Florance and Brent McGrath finished with three each.

Briggs said the Demons started each quarter well before dropping off and allowing them to take control for majority of the game.

‘‘They gained a bit of ascendency in that last quarter, but weren’t able to hit the scoreboard,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘We’ve got a big game coming up and we will need to score well again this week.’’

The Demons scored 1.5 in the final term to eventually go down 7.9 (51) to 16.8 (104).

Daniel Willis came off in the third quarter and was getting scans done on his elbow today after he was swung around in a tackle and used his arm to stop himself.

His ability to play will be decided through the week with his arm still sore yesterday.

‘‘Hopefully we’ll have Kane Morris and Cam Valentine back for the game and a few of the Bendigo Pioneers boys,’’ Briggs said.

‘‘The boys are all looking forward to a good week on the track ahead of the challenge.’’

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