Echuca Sport


Sport

Weekend footy preview

ECHUCA’S football side has one last chance to build before the Goulburn Valley League finals.Just 120 minutes stand between Echuca and another shot at the undefeated Goliath that is Kyabram.We aren’t intentionally dismissing the Murray Bombers’ opposition tomorrow in Shepp United — the Demons have had moments this season where they have looked pretty handy.But with Echuca’s next week locked in, it’s hard not to look ahead at it.The Demons are unlikely to put up much of a fight this week, it should be a pretty easy win for the Murray Bombers.Then, as with the rest of the competition, they move on to bigger things.We may see a few different plans and position changes performed by Echuca on Saturday, but it will all be a calculated decision ahead of the Ky game.¦ECHUCA UNITED failed to fire in the Murray Football League last week against Tongala  and simply must bounce back against Nurmurkah.While they are guaranteed to finish second on the ladder, the Eagles won’t want to enter the finals series off back-to-back losses.Numurkah got the better of United when the two sides met earlier in the year and we’re expecting them to have learnt their lessons from last week.United will bounce back in a big way as they find top gear before their first final.¦MOAMA has one final chance to get off the bottom of the ladder on Saturday, when they take on Katandra.At the end of the game, an interesting season for the Magpies comes to an end.For all the positive signs, particularly against the better teams, it remains a two-win season for Moama so far.Getting another win by the end of the year isn’t the be-all and end-all, but with the Magpies sitting on the bottom of the ladder, it may well be a major confidence boost for them to get back on the winners list.Katandra have not been good this season, only one more win than the Pies on the year.This feels like a real chance for Moama to get the victory and again remind the younger players their club is on the right track.¦TONGALA is riding high off the win of the year on Saturday against United.Few (if any) could possibly have seen this kind of result coming when the Blues dominated the Eagles.Now comes an even bigger challenge in the all conquering Nathalia.Few teams have been able to get close to Nathalia, the ever dominant Purples have dropped one game for the entire season so far.But there was something about the way the Blues played on Saturday.This doesn’t make the task of playing the Purps any the less daunting, but it may mean this match isn’t as clear cut as we had thought even a week ago.It’s still going to take the absolute best of the Blues, but if they need an extra bit of motivation — a Mulwala win against Cobram on Saturday will dislodge the Blues from the four, unless Tonny get the upset.Their destiny is in their own hands

Andrew Johnston


Sport

Weekend netball preview

ECHUCA’S A grade netballers can do whatever they feel like this week.They’re likely not going anywhere on the Goulburn Valley League ladder — they cannot move down to fourth, and unless Kyabram upset Seymour as well as Echuca winning, they won’t be jumping to second either.So, as Gina Pearson has said, they have a free swing at the competition’s top side Shepparton United.Echuca already has a win against the Demons this season, which bodes well for when the finals rolls around next week.So, Echuca will likely use this match as an opportunity to trial a few things new things they may want to use in finals.It’s a characteristic typical of Pearson coached sides — being very unpredictable, and always having a plan B.They may try things only to never use them again, just to throw United off their game for when the finals start next week.Who doesn’t love some mind games.ECHUCA UNITED should play its first Murray Netball League final next week against Moama, unless Rumbalara fall to Finley tomorrrow — which is very unlikely to happen.With that in mind, United will look to fine tune their game plan when they welcome Numurkah to Echuca South Recreation Reserve.Earlier in the season, the Eagles recorded a massive 70-goal victory over the Blues and we shouldn’t be surprised if they were to better that margin.They will be in no mood to mess around as they end the home and away season with a bang.MOAMA is entering finals, as we know, in unfamiliar territory.Third on the ladder in not where we are used to seeing the Mowers, and definitely not where they are used to being.Nothing is really going to change for them this week — they face Katandra, who are a well below average side, and are expected to perform a similar demolition job to what they did on Barooga a few days ago.There is something to be said about finals tune ups and getting the team into form, but the reality is, there is very little for Moama to gain out of this game before they play Echuca United next week.We hate to completely dismiss an opposition side, but there is nothing much of value in this match — simply a Moama training run.TONGALA has a tough weekend ahead.This may have been a development year, an opportunity for the Blues to adjust their new team into A grade, but they have ended up desperately close to playing finals.The Blues don’t need it considering how they are tracking, but it would be nice.Here is where the roadblock hits.The Blues sit half a game back from Congupna, who take on Barooga, and also have their opposition Nathalia breathing down their necks.A lot needs to go their way if they are to make the eight.And it starts with beating the Purps on Saturday.

Andrew Johnston