Bushrangers Outgunned By Chargers
The Murray Bushrangers have suffered an 12 point loss against the Oakleigh Chargers in Round 5 of TAC Cup action in Wangaratta. The clash was significant with the Murray Bushrangers in conjunction with the Wangaratta RSL hosting a moving ANZAC service before the opening bounce.
Wangaratta’s Murray Waite tossed the coin and kicked to the Wangaratta Magpies clubrooms end of the ground. The significance with Waite tossing the coin was his Grandfather was Peter Chitty who won the Changi Brownlow while a Prisoner of War during World War 2.
The Bushrangers started the clash well and contested the football hard and the Chargers knew they were in for a physical contest. In the first 12 minutes of play, both sides were only able to score a behind each. A lapse in defence saw Oakleigh kick the opening game shortly after; but to the Bushies credit, Luke Smith answered immediately. Another Smith goal saw the Bushrangers lead by 5 points after 20 minutes of play. Oakleigh kicked the final goal of the term and Murray entered the first break trailing by 2 points.
The second term began in great form for the Bushrangers with Smith kicking his third goal. In defence Ryan Garthwaite was a standout player who negated his opponents influence and from his work, Max Canfield was able to mark and kicked a long goal. Levi Middleton, who received a foot injury early on, showed his resilience and kicked the Bushrangers to a 12 point lead after 20 minutes in the second term. Oakleigh regrouped and after consecutive behinds and a goal, went into the half time break with the Bushrangers lead by 3 points.
The third term saw Oakleigh start the better kicking three consecutive goals to lead by that margin after 10 minutes of play. But the Bushrangers hit back as good teams do, with Clayton Oliver kicking his first and then Luke Smith kicked his fourth to trail by just 8 points after 20 minutes. And both teams were ferocious at the contest and went into the last break with the Bushrangers trailing by 8 points.
A massive last quarter was in store in the top of the table clash and it didn’t let the large crowd down with an epic final term. Oakleigh opened the scoring with a point and then a behind to lead by 15 points. The Murray Bushrangers played their best passage of football for the day, when deep in defence, Dylan McDonald linked with Nick Coughlan then onto Julius Batista. Jake Marshall led hard and took a strong contested mark; while a strong mark from Marshall’s kick saw Trent McMullan mark and kick the Bushrangers to within 10 points.
The Bushrangers momentum continued when Dylan McDonald ran hard from defence and kicked long to Max Canfield who marked under enormous pressure. Josh Minogue received the pass and kicked the Bushrangers to just a 5 point deficit. But Canfield was forced from the ground as a result of the contest. Clayton Oliver continued the Bushrangers momentum and a great snap gave the Murray outfit a 1 point lead after 17 minutes.
In the final minutes of play, Oakleigh kicked two goals to eventually run out winners by 12 points at the final siren.
BY STEPHEN HICKS
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS: 10 – 4 - 64
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS: 10 – 16 - 76
Goals: Luke Smith 4 (Congupna), Clayton Oliver 2 (Mooroopna), Josh Minogue 1 (North Albury), Max Canfield 1 (Yarrawonga), Trent McMullan 1 (Wodonga), and Levi Middleton 1 (Finley)
Best: Ryan Garthwaite (Lavington), Luke Smith (Congupna), Clayton Oliver (Mooroopna), Brady Sharp (Myrtleford), Murray Waite (Wangaratta), Jake Marshall (Deniliquin)