ECHUCA’S women footballers did what the men couldn’t in beating the Shepparton Bears on Saturday.
Played straight after the men’s game, the two top sides of the Northern Country Women’s League clashed, and the bottle green came out victorious in a one-point thriller.
Two goals down at the first break, Mick McInnes’ side fired back hard in a four goals, one behind quarter to be up by six at the half.
Jodie Lake and Sophie Douglas furthered their chances of a maiden interleague call up, with Lake being named best on ground, and Douglas adding to her goal kicking tally with another two.
Echuca only scored three behinds in the last two quarters, but it was enough to hold the Bears out for a win by a solitary point.
The four-pointer puts the Murray Bombers on the top rung of the NCWL ladder on points percentage, tied with the Bears on six wins from seven.
Echuca coach Mick McInnes said the final quarter was ‘‘a little stressful’’.
‘‘They stood firm and played well as a team and got over the line,’’ McInnes said.
‘‘We’ve had close matches in the past and I told them we had to keep up how we were playing — aiming for a four quarter performance.
‘‘I told them to get the ball into the forwards quicker and they responded well. Things started to happen for us then, we had a few chances in the first we missed,’’ he said.
Even though they are top of the ladder it doesn’t get any easier for Echuca in terms of fixtures.
Sunday brings third-placed Benalla Saints to Vic Park — the only side to have beaten the Murray Bombers this year.
McInnes said his side had learnt from the mistakes they made in the loss, and would not make them this time.
‘‘In the first round we had the opportunity to put them under the pump with scoreboard pressure, we had our chances but didn’t take them.
‘‘We’re playing much better footy now, and we most certainly have a chance to beat them this time.’’
Echuca 2.4, 6.5, 6.7, 6.8 (44)
Shepparton 4.4, 5.5, 6.6, 6.7 (43)
Echuca: Sophie Douglas 2, Jess Pitts 2, Alyx Glanville, Vanessa Sellars.
Shepparton: S. Heron 3, W. Ludeman, S. West, T. Brown.
Echuca: Jodie Lake, Danielle Garden, Jess Pitts, Leah Thompson, Claudia Green, Holly Hughes.
Shepparton: S. Heron, V. Merritt, L. Arthur, T. Brown, B. Davison, R. Richards.