Murray takes win

May 17, 2017

Murray Football League celebrate the win during the 2017 AFL Victoria Community Championships against Wimmera FNL.

Towering Tyrone: Murray co-captain Tyrone Downie shows off his marking capabilities.

Tyrone Downie rues a missed shot at goal.

Murray Football League has delivered a victory at interleague level for the first time since 2014.

With weapons on every line the home side was always going to put on a good show, but the strong crowd at Moama Recreation Reserve was treated to an outstanding display of football.

They had to wait for the Murray team to kick into gear, though.

For the first five minutes of the AFL Victoria Community Championships clash, Murray’s young backline looked lost, with Wimmera entering its forward 50 three times for three scoring shots and two uncontested marks.

Co-coaches Jason Limbrick and Simon Maddox diagnosed the issue quickly, instructing their midfield group to lock down and starve their opponent of opportunity.

The move worked a treat, and Murray drew level within five minutes thanks to goals from Mitch Price and Sam Ferguson.

From there the class of the home side showed in spades, with lightning-quick ball movement, superior aerial capability and courageous gut-running making Wimmera look slow and tired.

‘‘I’m really proud of the boys, it was a good win,’’ Limbrick said.

‘‘We set out to win the game and play well and I think we’ve done that.’’

Brodie A’Vard was monstrous in the ruck all day, using his clear height advantage to give his midfield group first use of the ball, and was duly awarded the best-on-ground medal.

Co-captain Rhys Archard needed his own statistician such was the volume of possessions that he gathered, fellow leader Tyrone Downie was outstanding and the likes of Zac Mihocek, Kane Atkinson, Tom Nihill and Nic Denahy rotated through with deadly impact.

‘‘After the first bit I thought our midfielders were sensational,’’ Limbrick said.

‘‘Then our ability to be able to isolate our forwards and get control of the ball was really good and everyone played their role, which was really important.’’

The home side’s dominance showed on the scoreboard with the lead blowing out to 39 points midway through the final term before a few junk time goals from Wimmera brought the final score to 16.10(106) to 13.6(84).

‘‘They really set the game up well in the first sort of 10 to 15 minutes of that (last) quarter,’’ Limbrick said.

‘‘We faded late, but we’d set the game up, so I can’t fault their effort, they were awesome.

‘‘The commitment of some of these guys to travel from Melbourne and Bendigo to get to training and then also to play, they’ve really put in and it’s good that they got rewarded with a win.’’

After casting the 16th ranked team to the side, Murray has set up a rematch of last season’s interleague clash with South East Football League and will look to atone for that 27-point loss.

—Tyler Maher.

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