It’s the old story in football, but it really was just a coat of paint or a toe on the ball which probably cost our Senior Boys a place in the State Finals in Melbourne at the Regional Finals in Epsom Monday 23rd May.
We began the first match against Bendigo Senior Secondary as significant underdogs but after a scratchy first five minutes were soon finding gaps in their defence through some precision balls from Lachie Arkinstall and James Brown involving Cooper Arkinstall, Connor Brown and Fletcher Kelly. James had their defence completely bamboozled at one point but forgot the all-important finishing and took a coat of paint off the upright. Fletcher was then set up for a ‘tap in’ but, alas, failed to make contact. Half time 0 – 0 but oh, it should have been soooo different! Tragically for the fellas, that ‘other mob’ took their limited chances and scored in the second half to win … narrowly. The defence, led by Jason Hanson and Asher Jones had been pretty solid but undoubtedly Joel McInnes was the surprise packet with a terrific game at left full back!
After what could only be described as a poor start against Mildura Senior Secondary, our boys completely bossed the game, displaying some champagne football to cruise to an exhibition victory 5 – 2, including a hatrick from James Brown and a ‘cracker’ from outside the box from his brother Connor. Luke Pollock, clearly a little undersized, but not in courage, made some excellent saves with contributions from Wade Baker and Kyle Scott at full back and long clearances by Nick McKenner. Joel again had a terrific match scaring the opposition with his attack on the ball in clinch situations.
It really was a fine performance from the Echuca lads, especially considering four of them were intermediates. We should be very proud. Special thanks to Jayden Dixon for his work as Team Manager and James Whitehead who ran the lines confidently.
MVP = Lachlan Arkinstall
Stewart Cheal (Coach)