Another edition of Best Battles has arrived – was your team on the right side of the memorable ledger?
Echuca v Seymour
Round 13, 2018, at Victoria Park
Echuca 21.19 (145) d Seymour 6.8 (44)
While the Echuca and Seymour clash was far from an instant classic, it was nonetheless a ground-breaking day in Goulburn Valley football.
Echuca took the field at Victoria Park in the competition’s first indigenous guernsey, designed by Yorta Yorta artist Clive Atkinson.
After a pre-match ceremony including a smoking ceremony from Uncle Col Walker and a performance from an indigenous dance group, Echuca dominated its opponent to take an easy win.
Tim Allan and mid-season recruit Ben McGlynn both kicked four, with defender Cam Valentine named the best for the bottle greens.
Jason Cole continued his incredible season, once again named the best for the Lions.
Echuca co-coach Simon Maddox said he was excited to get a win over a potential finals side.
“Seymour were in finals contention going into this game, they were still well and truly in the hunt and had a lot to play for, so to be able to respond to them in the way we did is fantastic,” he said.
Shepparton East v Nagambie
Round 10, 2019, at Central Park Recreation Reserve
Shepparton East 2.4 (16) lt Nagambie 22.19 (151)
Shepparton East and Nagambie missed the chance to play each other by four seasons in the 1960s after the Eagles departed the league in 1961 and Nagambie joined in ‘65.
But after the Eagles returned to the league last year, the two teams finally had their first chance to face off.
Coming up against one of the best teams of the decade was a hard task, though, and East had little-to-no answers for Nagambie’s dominance, with the Lakers swiftly accounting for the Eagles by 135 points on East's home turf.
By all standards, the first quarter was competitive, with the Lakers only managing an 11-point lead ahead of the second quarter.
But this is where the match essentially ends, with the Lakers piling on 18 unanswered goals in 90 minutes of play to steamroll the Eagles.
Stretching the Eagles’ defence, Dan Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Moore, and Nathan Fothergill all kicked four goals for Nagambie, while Mitch Sanderson and Blake Fothergill carved up the midfield with ease.
Murchison-Toolamba v Avenel
Round 11, 2012, at Avenel Recreation Reserve
Avenel 15.5 (95) lt Murchison 15.6 (96)
Not only did this clash delight in its narrow finish, but the extent to which the result would shape finals football would only materialise by season's end.
In what was the sides’ sole contest of the season, Avenel was in pole position to take the four points against Murchison, leading by small change at every break.
In a crushing blow for the home side though, Murchison hit its straps in the final quarter, kicking five goals to the Swans’ two to pinch a one-point victory.
While Murchison went on to finals later in the year, Avenel finished just short in seventh - trailing Lancaster by percentage only - the loss to the Grasshoppers no doubt hindering its cause.
Jamie Jones and James Milne finished with three goals for the visitors, while Dominic Russo bagged four for the Swans.