Sport

Perfect plan, when the team delivers

by
May 08, 2018

Lucas Denton of Echuca handballs while being tackled by Thomas Burke of Euroa during the GVL seniors football match between Echuca and Euroa. Photo by Luke Hemer.

FRUSTRATING.

It’s a fairly accurate description of Saturday’s game.

Echuca executed their game plan well — for the most part.

Except for one quarter.

When Euroa piled on nine goals in the third, the dam wall was broken.

The game was gone by that point, and it was just about the Murray Bombers saving face.

What made this worse was that Echuca had started the game exactly how they wanted.

Since the season began the messages at Vic Park have been about strong starts and getting reward for effort.

And that’s exactly what we saw.

Both sides had eight scoring shots in the opening quarter.

While Euroa weren’t able to make the most of theirs (3.5 is not a great return), the Murray Bombers with 6.2 did.

But across the next two quarters, the challenge was to slow Euroa down.

Eight scoring shots in the second, 13 in the third was what Euroa would produce — while the Murray Bombers only managed eight in total for that period.

They nearly got away with it — Euroa’s abysmal second-quarter kicking registered 1.7 but its frequent forays inside 50m had the writing on the wall.

Then the championship quarter saw the nine goals and there was no coming back.

Raising the next obvious question — where was the pressure?

It’s been a statement of who this new Echuca side is, their pressure has been incredible.

Even against Kyabram, where the result was even worse on the scoreboard, pressure was the side’s highlight.

Those at the ground couldn’t say the same this week.

The good news is we are not at panic stations yet.

It’s round five, Echuca are 3-2, a record many around the club would have been incredibly happy with after last season — at the same point in 2017 they were 2-3 with worse to come.

And the issues that have been identified internally can be worked out.

As noted, a focus on starting stronger has begun to show results.

The next issue to look at will be how to stem the bleeding when things do go wrong.

And they will — this is a young side and it’s round five of year one of the Maddox/Walker era.

There are going to be tough days ahead — the challenge is for this young group to be able to respond.

The other big up was the ins for Echuca.

Simon Buckley and Angus Byrne both returned to the side, kicked goals and were in the bests.

There are still 13 rounds of football to be played.

The hopes for Echuca are still high, and two losses should not dim those hopes.

But there are some areas that will need to be worked on.

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