Another edition of Best Battles is upon us, where McPherson Media Group sports journalists take a walk down memory lane and look at some cracking contests between sides meant to face-off at the weekend.
KYABRAM DISTRICT LEAGUE
Rushworth v Murchison-Toolamba
Elimination final, 2012 at Undera Recreation Reserve
Murchison 15.8 (98) d Rushworth 14.11 (95)
Murchison’s Nick Airs lived out a childhood dream in 2012 as he kicked the match-winning goal to help his side move on to the next week of finals.
Airs’ goal was the fourth and final lead change of the final term as the Grasshoppers held on for a thrilling three-point win.
‘‘Hopefully, that instils a bit of belief into the group that we can hang tough and pull something off even if we are a couple of goals down,” Murchsion coach Steve Reeves said.
‘‘It was important for a young group to get a win like that.’’
Girgarre v Ardmona
Round 10, 2009 at Ardmona Recreation Reserve
Ardmona 10.18 (78) d Girgarre 10.10 (70)
Due to the recent issues affecting Ardmona, you must go back more than a decade to find a competitive match between these sides.
On this day both sides kicked poorly, with the Cats picking up the win on behind difference.
Shayne Formica kicked three for the Cats and was named best afield, while Darren Walker kicked two to be named best for the Roos.
The 2009 season ended up being a dirty one for both sides, with the Roos claiming the wooden spoon with just the one victory, and the Cats finishing 10th with four wins.
Stanhope v Undera
Undera 12.12 (84) d Stanhope 10.13 (73)
Undera comfortably accounted for Stanhope twice during the home and away season, but their finals showdown was quite a competitive contest.
Both sides had an even spread of goal-kickers on the day, while Undera’s Daniel Godsmark and Stanhope’s Lachlan Armstrong were the dominant players on the ground.
In the end Stanhope’s kicking cost it, booting 6.6 in the final term as it tried to run over the opposition, with Undera holding on for victory.
Undera would make it to the grand final, only to fall to Nagambie by 15 points.
Merrigum v Lancaster
Round 17, 2018 at Merrigum Recreation Reserve
Merrigum 8.11 (59) lt Lancaster 9.14 (68)
The Bulldogs and Wombats were plagued by errant kicking in this clash.
Lancaster looked in complete control at the final change when it led by six goals, but the home side came roaring home to eventually fall just short.
The Bulldogs kicked 4.5 to 0.2 in the last stanza, with Sean Reidy dominant on the day.
The Wombats had Tannar and Zac Cerrone (four goals) to thank for their triumph.
Dookie United v Tallygaroopna
Round three, 2018 at Dookie Recreation Reserve
Dookie United 10.13 (73) lt Tallygaroopna 15.12 (102)
The first time these sides clashed was early in 2018.
The Thunder took it right up to the Redlegs for much of the contest, but were outgunned in the final term – booting 1.3 to 4.5.
Wayne Pavitt, Pat McMullan and Will Patone kicked two goals apiece for the home side as Nic Fichera and Mitch Sidebottom slotted four each for the Redlegs.
Violet Town v Avenel
Round five, 2017 at Violet Town Recreation Reserve
Violet Town 15.12 (102) d Avenel 14.8 (92)
An early-season barnburner had 29 goals kicked at Violet Town Recreation Reserve in 2017.
The Swans led by 29 points at the first change, but by the final break the Towners had recovered to hold a three-goal advantage.
The home side was able to hold on in the final stanza as Rob Staff finished with seven majors.
Kasey Duncan jagged six for the visitors.
Longwood v Shepparton East
Round one, 2019 at Longwood Recreation Reserve
Longwood 3.2 (20) lt Shepparton East 24.18 (162)
Shepparton East and Longwood have only met once in Kyabram District League - in the Eagles’ first match in the competition.
They made a winning start to their time in the league, cruising to a 142-point victory against Longwood.
Mark Frost kicked five goals and Ben and Anthony Tautala kicked four each for the Eagles, with Jake Pfeiffer, Darby Innes-Irons and Ethan Moor all getting in on the action.
Lachie Cox, Dylan Gordois and Nathan Watson were best for Longwood.