WIMMERA FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Wimmera make it three in a row in WorkSafe Community Championships
WIMMERA Football League made it three in a row in the WorkSafe Community Championships against Sunraysia on Saturday.
Sunraysia and few answers as the Big W ran out winners 17.11 (113) to 8.13 (61).
It was an unusual preparation for the Wimmera team, which travelled to Mildura on Friday night.
With a four-hour road trip ahead of the team it was coach John Delahunty’s call to leave the night before the match.
Wimmera officials said the move paid off as the Big W looked up and about from the first bounce.
Both sides came to play, with the standard of football a step up from last season.
The Wimmera came out with hard tackling and strong intent to win the football.
Their inside players were able to win the footy at regular intervals and released young guns Tom Eckel and Sam Jasper on the outside.
Wimmera led Sunraysia by an eight-goal margin at the main break.
In the second half it became clear how well coached the Wimmera team was.
The side posted more than 100 interchange rotations ensuring had fresh legs that Sunraysia could not match.
Sunraysia had less than half of the number of rotations and fatigue proved a factor as the match progressed. Wimmera was challenged by the home side in the third term, but Sunraysia was unable to put a significant score on the board.
The Big W answered with a surge in the final term to win by 52 points.
Wimmera captain Nick Pekin led from the front to win the best on ground medal.
Pekin played predominately in the forward line.
Other players to impress included Kieren Delahunty, Sam Jasper, Tom Eckel, Rylie Taylor, John Delahunty, Alexander McRae and Lachlan Exell.
Wimmera had a strong following of fans who made the four-hour trip to Mildura and provided plenty of noise around the small oval.
The game was changed from the wide expanses of number one oval to the smaller number three oval, which provided a good atmosphere for the crowd.
The win sees the Wimmera Football League one step closer to cracking the top 10 on the Worksafe Community Championship rankings.
Sunraysia and Wimmera were playing off in a clash between 18 and 19.
Wimmera will move into 16th spot and take on 17th spot Mornington Peninsula Nepean. Wimmera Football League commissioner Trevor Albrecht said he was hopeful of getting a home game in the 2017 fixture.
“We were rapt to win and we are hoping the win gives us a home game next season,” he said.
“We want to be top 10. Being in that top 10 ranks us as one of Victoria’s premier leagues.”