And Noah came with the rain

April 17, 2018

Echuca's Angus Byrne looks up as he attemptys to move the ball quickly against Seymour.

TWO on the trot.

The Echuca Murray Bombers have not started their season 2-0 since 2010.

And co-coach Andrew Walker said his side’s ability to win their opening two games in tough matches was a good omen for the season.

‘‘It was another hard fought victory for us,’’ Walker said.

‘‘It’s really good for our footy club. We really enjoy playing in games like that, it shows us a lot about our group and how hard they are willing to work to get the win. It’s what we want to see out of our group all year.’’

In response, the midfield group stepped up, including Bendigo Pioneers TAC Cup vice-captain Noah Wheeler, making his debut for the club after previously playing for Moama.

‘‘It’s a blessing as a coach to be able to have a guy like Noah in our side when we get him,’’ Walker said.

‘‘You can immediately see why he is the Pioneers vice-captain.

‘‘He’s a brutal little footballer, he’s a guy who is always willing to put his head over the ball and you always need guys like that to be playing for your football club.’’

In trying conditions against Seymour, the Murray Bombers conceded four goals in the opening quarter, before pulling the Lions back to take the lead into the first change.

‘‘Seymour probably were able to adapt to the conditions better than we were at the start,’’ Walker said.

‘‘We said to our group at the first break that we wanted to see football played in the way that Seymour did early and as a coaching group we were really happy with how the boys responded to what we asked.’’

The Murray Bombers would end the game with a 17-point victory.

The Bombers kicked 10 goals 11 in the blustery conditions, with Walker speaking highly of key forward Angus Byrne, who kicked two majors and was named in the bests for the day.

‘‘Conditions when it’s raining are really tough for tall forwards,’’ Walker said.

‘‘So to have one of our key position guys have as good of a game as he did, it’s not an easy thing to do, so we couldn’t have been happier with his performance.

‘‘He (Byrne) took eight or 10 strong marks on the day — that’s an incredible effort from a key forward. We as a club could not be happier.’’

The Murray Bombers also had to deal with the late withdrawal of co-captain Simon Buckley.

Walker said the difference between his club’s preparation and the condition of his side’s game on the weekend was proof of their development.

‘‘We got ready for the season in really hot weather, there wasn’t much wet to practice in,’’ Walker said.

‘‘But as I have said to the group a few times, it’s these little milestones where we are doing things we haven’t previously done that show we are continuing to get better as a side.’’

The Murray Bombers will look to go 3-0 for the first time this decade when they face Shepparton United this Saturday at Victoria Park.

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