Pigeons forward Jess Koopman completely dominated the ‘combine’ defence on Saturday having over twenty possessions and kicking seven goals seven behinds in a brilliant display of forward play.
Yarrawonga 3.4 7.7 9.15 10.20 80
Corowa Rutherglen 0.5 0.7 0.11 3.11 29
GoaLS – Yarrawonga: Koopman 7, N. Mullins 1, B. Frauenfelder 1, M. Gorman 1.
Corowa Rutherglen: A. Pretto, L. Schulz, J. Lane.
Best – Yarrawonga: J. Koopman, H. Wheeler, M. Gorman, B. Frauenfelder, T. McAuley,
N. Mullins. Corowa Rutherglen: A. Pretto, D. Cook, J. Hansen, J. Lane, A. Wallis, T. Spencer.
Koopman, just returned from Darwin playing over the summer and playing in a losing grand final up there, to be fully prepared to start the O&M season in top form.
The Pigeons under coach Damien Sexton have had a solid pre season and will again be the team that gives a big effort and Saturday was a top start to the season.
New faces in Tim McCauley, Bill Andrews, Will Godman, Bailey Fraunfelder, Isaac McMillan, Jack Sexton and Ned Mullins from the thirds and local district are all outstanding acquisitions and showed they will all be great to follow this season.
The game didn’t hit any great heights after the initial onslaught from Koopman in the first quarter.
The rest of the game, in hot conditions, was a typical early season encounter.
Plenty of strong hits and tackles but poor conversion on goal from both sides.
The question at three quarter time was could the combine kick a goal to their account. Thankfully they found the big opening on three occasions to make the scoreboard look more respectable.
The Pigeons would be very happy with the performance when analysed.
A lot of youth getting opportunities along with some boys with one or two seasons experience and some of the more experienced campaigners.
Yarrawonga Pigeons have built a strong culture over the years both on the field and on the court.
Following the Pigeons each week and supporting family members and friends will enable the club to continue to succeed and grow.
Next game the club take on Wodonga Raiders in Wodonga.
Chronicle Award: 5 Jess Koopman. 4. Tim McCauley. 3. Harry Wheeler. 2. Matt Gorman. 1. Wil Gorman.
Yarrawonga 2.2, 7.7, 11.13, 12.15.87
Corowa 1.1, 1.2, 1.2, 2.2.14
The Yarrawonga reserves started the year with a hard fought win at John Foord Oval in Corowa.
It was the first time that all of the team had come together for the year and they found themselves opposed a determined Corowa team looking to win the contested ball.
In what turned out to be a physical first quarter, Yarrawonga wrestled the ascendency of Corowa and took a quarter time lead.
With Ross Mulquiney, Mitch Collins-Bye and Travis Hargreaves winning a lot of possession in the second quarter, the Pigeons were able to put their stamp on the game and pile on 5 goals to none.
From that point on, the Yarrawonga team never looked back.
Both Matt and Cam Tregenza played impressive games at opposite ends of the ground, Ronan Pritchard was turning the opposition inside out with his courageous running on the wings and Tim Lawrence was causing havoc for the opposition from stoppages and also while resting in front of goal.
The end result saw Yarrawonga take the 4 points and have a positive start to the year.
Yarrawonga: 1.2, 4.5, 7.5, 8.8.56.
Corowa: 5.1, 8.2, 10.4, 11.7.73.
Goals: Yarrawonga: J. Brooks 2, A. Frauenfelder 2, M. Hemphill 2, H. Fisher 1, J. Meade 1.
Corowa Rutherglen: C. Spencer 4, A. McFarland 2, D. Melksham 2, D. Clancy, M. Lavis, R. Black.
Best: Yarrawonga: M. Hemphill, T Hemphill, B. Fitzpatrick, B. Tyson, T. Whelan, A. Byrne.
Corowa Rutherglen: K. Bradtke, B. Pirnag, B. Minogue, J. Eyers, C. Spencer.
With preseason out of the way the 2019 season kicked off at 10am Saturday but the young Pigeons appeared to arrive 20 minutes late to the season being four goals down at ¼ time only to then lose by less than 3 goals.
In truth the game was an arm wrestle after ¼ time but the early lapse was the difference.
Vice-captain Max Hemphill, fit and firing after a bushranger preseason, was the stand out player on the ground and along with Tylar Hemphill kept the side in the game in the 1st half.
Across the back half Brody Tyson in his first game was solid and along with Henry Lonergan and Brandon Fitzpatrick formed a solid line after ¼ time.
Tom Whelan was serviceable as was Harry Meade but good contributors were hard to find.
Awards: Max Hemphill (Yarrawonga Hotel) and Brody Tyson (Wingates).