Pigeons too strong for Panthers

Boom recruit Leigh Williams continues on his goalkicking ways, booting 5 majors against the Panthers to sit level atop the Doug Strang Medal list. Williams performance on the weekend was courageous after suffering a cracked vertebrae in his back and internal bleeding early in the first quarter but he continued until part way through the last term.

Lavington 2.2, 7.5, 10.7, 10.7.67.

Yarrawonga 3.1, 9.2, 12.2, 17.5.107.

Goals: Lavington: Myles Aalbers 4, Jack Driscoll 2, Shaun Driscoll 1, Tom Hargreave 1, Jack Harland 1, Darcy Hennessy 1.

Yarrawonga: Leigh Williams 5, Jess Koopman 3, Nick Fothergill, Bailey Frauenfelder, Harry Wheeler 2, Tim Lawrence, Ned Pendergast, Mark Whiley 1

Best: Lavington: Jack Harland, Myles Aalbers, Luke Garland, Benjamin Ashley-Cooper, Nick Brennan, William Glanvill.

Yarrawonga: Lach Howe, Nicholas Fothergill, Harrison Wheeler, Leigh Williams, Ryan Einsporn, Mark Whiley.

The Yarrawonga Pigeons have notched up their ninth win of the 2022 season, kicking away from Lavington late in the game to record a 40-point victory at the Lavington Sports Ground.

As the sun broke through the clouds for the first time of the day, it was the Panthers who would get the jump on the Pigeons, booting the first two goals of the game.

It took until the 22nd minute mark of the game for the Pigeons to hit the scoreboard as Coach Mark Whiley was the one to slide it through from the set shot.

Yarrawonga were slowly able to gain control in the latter stages of the opening quarter as Nick Fothergill, Ryan Einpsorn and Leigh Masters were all playing pivotal roles to wrestle back the momentum.

Late goals to the in-form Harry Wheeler and rising star Ned Pendergast saw the Pigeons take the lead and the momentum at the first change.

Supporters of both teams were greeted with a fierce, high scoring battle as both sides began to ramp up their efforts in the second quarter. A six goal to five term in favour of the Pigeons was full of highlights as superstar Leigh Williams, averaging 6.5 goals per game this season, produced three vital goals in the quarter alone.

Goals to Fothergill, Frauenfelder and Jess Koopman rounded out the term with the Pigeons 9-point leaders over the Panthers who were being well served by Myles Aalbers who had three goals of his own.

The third quarter began with the Pigeons firing out of the blocks. Fothergill pounced on a costly Panther turnover to boot through his second major of the day. And when Tim Lawrence was spotted up inside fifty, booting through another, the Pigeons had stretched the margin out to an ominous 21-points.

A trend for the Pigeons throughout the season thus far has been their ability to control the play for large parts of the quarter with a kick-mark game style. Coach Whiley was able to identify that for Yarrawonga to challenge for ultimate success, they needed to improve in that area of the game.

The evolution of this kick-mark style has been well supported with the Pigeons ability to recruit the likes of Fothergill and Einsporn in addition to the classy ball users of Wheeler, Morey and Sexton.

With the lead at 21-points, it was the Panthers who responded to keep the game alive. With their big guns firing in Garland and Aalbers, they were able to cut the margin down to a solitary 1 point before Leigh Williams yet again, crucially hit the scoreboard to give the Pigeons some slight breathing space just before three quarter time.

With the game in the balance, the Pigeons were able to put the game to bed in the final term, piling on five unanswered goals in a breath-taking display.

Lach Howe, Harry Wheeler and Nick Fothergill were incredibly influential on the result of the game, taking total control of the centre of the ground whilst up forward Bailey Frauenfelder, Tim Lawrence and Jess Koopman were wreaking havoc.

Leigh Williams slotted through his fifth major which was the icing on the cake for the Pigeons however not without coming at a cost. Williams suffered a cracked vertebrae in his back earlier in the game but managed to play through the injury to see the Pigeons over the line in a courageous display.

Yarrawonga 40-point winners, banking the four points to sit clear in second position on the ladder with the upcoming bye ahead of them.

The challenges won’t get any easier for the Pigeons after the bye however, with tough assignments against Myrtleford and Wangaratta Rovers to come.


Lavington 4.7.31 defeated by Yarrawonga 14.9.93.

The Pigeons Reserves have put in another strong performance on a slippery afternoon at the Lavington Sports Ground.

The Pigeons welcomed back three players in Jackson Meade, Ben Radford and Connor Griffiths for the clash against the Panthers, all recovering from different injuries.

Griffiths produced a four-quarter performance through the midfield and proved a handful for the Panthers for the entire afternoon.

Yarrawonga were able to get well on top of the Panthers through the midfield as Griffiths was well supported by the likes of Zec Cuppens, Max Hemphill and Xavier Leslie. The slippery conditions played into the Pigeons hands as the bigger bodies around the ball were able to give the forwards first look.

Big men in Alex Byrne and Brandon Symes were very useful throughout the afternoon, both playing big roles in the victory as the ‘Big Red’ Symes booted two majors for the day.

Thirds players in Sam Hemphill and Hunter Surrey both played important roles as they continue to show great character backing up for two games every Saturday.

In a pleasing sign for the Pigeons, the defence of the team which included Nick Dykes, Cory Pearn and Scott Oswald were able to keep the Panthers scoreless after half time whilst booting 5 goals of their own.

Tyler Lovell was another who returned to the team after a short stint away. Lovell showed that he can be dangerous around the big sticks, ending the day with four majors of his own.

The Pigeons are under no illusions that harder challenges are on the horizon, not many tougher than Myrtleford away which always proves to be a tight tussle.

Following the trip to Myrtleford, the Pigeons will have their sights set on the undefeated Wangaratta Rovers who toppled the Pigeons earlier in the year by 10 points.

Goals: Tyler Lovell 4, Matt Grinter, Max Hemphill, Brandon Symes, Xavier Leslie 2, Ross Mulquiney 1.

Best: Xavier Leslie, Connor Griffiths, Reid Clarke, Zec Cuppens, Alex Byrne, Sam Hemphill.


Lavington 4.10 34 defeated by Yarrawonga 5.6.36.

The Yarrawonga Thirds have produced an inspiring second half of football to topple the Lavington Panthers at the Lavington Sports Ground on Saturday.

In a must win game, the Pigeons were immediately under the pump with the Panthers gaining the ascendency in the contest early. Although the Pigeons trailed by 3 goals for the majority of the first half, they were still able to stay in touch with the Panthers through sheer intensity and fight to win the ball.

In the slippery conditions, Will Connell led the way for the Pigeons, showing a clean set of hands and busting packs with his strong marking.

Jack James was excellent for the Pigeons all day long with Hunter Frauenfelder who were both able to hit the scoreboard.

Training at three quarter time, coach Hornet Frauenfelder pleaded with his troops to lift and go beyond what they had already given.

Three minutes remaining a goal from Jack James sent the Pigeons into a frenzy as the Panthers dropped their heads, knowing they might have let one slip.

It was over to the Pigeons to slow the game down and keep possession of the ball.

The final siren sounded, and the overriding emotion was that of jubilation for the Pigeons players and coaches, suffering some big defeats in recent time, the victory over the Panthers will provide a big lift to the spirits and confidence of the group.

Goals: Hunter Frauenfelder 2, Jack James, Austin Lukes, Hunter Surrey 1.

Best: Jack James, Griffin Surrey, Brendan Ryan, Hunter Frauenfelder, Will Connell, Sam Hemphill.