Sport

GVL: Rochester storm ahead in second half romping

By Aydin Payne

A crushing second half performance against the Shepparton Swans has kept Rochester well in the hunt of a finals berth in the Goulburn Valley League.

The Swans were gallant in the opening two quarters of the match, however, with their season on the line, the Tigers kicked into gear.

Leading by three goals at the main break, the Tigers piled on 11 of the next 13 goals to hand the Swans a 73-point defeat.

With the region blasted by wild conditions, the round 16 contest at Princess Park turned into a slippery affair right from the onset.

Tigers coach James Flaherty said he was pleased with his side's performance in the second half, and suggested it adapted to the conditions better than the home side.

"We probably played the conditions a bit better," Flaherty said.

"It was just one of those games, wet, muddy and windy.

"It wasn't pretty, but we were able to tough it out and grab the win.

"I was really pleased with the performance in the second half."

The Swans used the blustery conditions to their advantage in the first term, entering the quarter-time break with a four-point lead.

But thanks to talented forward Liam Bartels, the Tigers went on to kick 15 of the next 18 goals.

Bartels shone in the difficult conditions, kicking six majors - taking his season tally to 30 - and was judged best afield for the Tigers.

"We knew that the Swans wouldn't roll over," Flaherty said.

"They made us work really hard in the first half.

"But I thought we stepped up in the second half really well."

With the Tigers needing to win each of their remaining games of the season to make finals, Saturday's result was another important one for Rochester.

As well as Bartels, Nathan Marrone stood tall in the second half, with the hard-nosed midfielder finding plenty of the ball.

Gun defender James Gledhill featured in the better players, along with Nick O'Connor (thee goals).

"Liam's form has been great recently," Flaherty said.

"He's a real dangerous forward and he could have kicked more, but he gave off a few.

"I thought the midfield group stood tall in the second half too.

"Nath was always involved and he adapted really well to the conditions."

Quade Johnstone led the way for the Swans, alongside Ian Fry (two goals), Nathan Barolli, Jared Service and Tyreece Collison (one).

Star youngster Josh Rachele featured in the best for the Swans in his first senior game of football.

Looking ahead to next week, the Swans have a tough test against finals bound Echuca, while Rochester takes on Shepparton United.

THE GAME

Rochester 1.1, 5.5, 10.5, 16.13 (109)

Shepparton Swans 1.5, 2.5, 4.11, 4.12 (36)

Goals

Rochester: Liam Bartels 6, Nick O'Connor 3, Rhys Free 2, Brodie Montague, Matthew Kellett, Andrew Henderson, Isaiah Miller, Mitch Bright

Shepparton Swans: Ian Fry 2, Tyreece Collison, Nathan Rachele 

Best

Rochester: Liam Bartels, Nathan Marrone, Nick O'Connor, James Gledhill, Jaycob Dingwall, Nathan McCarty

Shepparton Swans: Quade Johnstone, Jared Service, Ian Fry, Nathan Barolli, Tyreece Collison, Josh Rachele