• Loddon Herald

Mean but at a cost

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

SIX ROUNDS in and clear trendsetters have emerged in Loddon Valley football.

Reigning premiers Mitiamo and the dominant side of the last decade, Bridgewater, are sharing flag favouritism.

But the early season honour has come at a huge price for the Mean Machine who withstood the physical pressure of Marong on Saturday.

The injured list reads like a who’s who of the team - Andy Collins, Liam Jacques, Cam Ross, Joe Mayes and Tristian Nalder among them.

The toll is even greater than what Pyramid Hill suffered in their heart-breaking loss a fortnight earlier to the Panthers.

Bridgewater was two points down at the first break and clawed their way in front to be two goals up at half-time. While players were falling, the Mean Machine still managed to win by three goals.

Better system and skill overcame the Panthers’ constant lunges, the Mean Machine’s marking prowess on display.

Darren Clutton was one who kept bobbing up with telling marks in the hard-fought final term. Late goals by an injured Collins (he finished with four) and Alex Powell negated the fading hopes of Marong.

Bridgewater finished the match a bit short for numbers but used smart football to counter brute presence.

Mitiamo put another severe dent in Maiden Gully’s season aspirations with Tyrone Downie leading the way up forward with four goals.

Maiden Gully is now locked in a battle for fifth spot with Bears Lagoon Serpentine who won over Calivil. Calivil saw the game as their first proper competitive match-up and the young side began with season-form gusto, holding a slender lead at quarter time.

The second term saw Serp capitalise on the wind advantage and kick out to a 27-point lead. The third term was a great example of the improvement by Calivil as they rallied to kick five goals.

With two goals separating the sides at the last break, it was Serp who stood tall, kicking away to a seven-goal win,

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