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    James Staude tackles Jace Monaghan, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Louis Papst chases Clint Robinson, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Hamish Exell tackles Charlie Stewart, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Eric Guthrie, HB, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Michael Close tackles Jacob Harris, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    LEADER: Harrow-Balmoral’s Michael Close flies over Kalkee’s Blair Thomas. Close, with brother Simon, was rampant in the Roos’ 133-48 win. Pictures: PAUL CARRACHER
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    Simon Close tackles Hamis Exell, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Scott Addinasll, HB, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Luke Byrne gets a kick, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.
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    Jacob Harris and Tobie Richardson tackle Scott Addinsall, Kalkee vs Harrow-Balmoral.

Natimuk United sitting pretty

By Colin MacGillivray

Natimuk United’s quest for its first top-three berth remained on track with a nail-biting one-point win against Swifts on Saturday.

The Rams stormed home with four goals to one in a dramatic fourth quarter to overcome a 16-point deficit at the final change and hold on for an 11.8 (74) to 11.7 (73) win after three lead changes.

It started off looking like a bleak day for the Rams on their home turf, as the Baggies kicked five goals in the first quarter to build a 19-point lead.

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The hard work of players such as Jack Ford and Josh Smith – playing his first game in a month – helped drag Natimuk United back into the contest in the second quarter, with Jaydon Stiles finishing off their good work up forward.

The Baggies regained the upper hand in the third term with big man Brett Hargreaves dominating around the ground and midfielders Jakob Davis, Damon Folkes and Zach Salmi prominent.

Davis finished the match with two goals and Baggies spearhead Ben Martin booted three, but it was the Rams that came away with plenty to celebrate when the final siren sounded.

Natimuk United, forged by a merger of Natimuk and Horsham United football netball clubs in 2014, played finals for the first time in 2017, but has never finished in the top three.

The last time a Natimuk-based side finished in the top three was in the 1990s.

The Rams now trail second-placed Edenhope-Apsley only on percentage, while the Baggies dropped to fifth with the loss.

They will now face a resurgent Noradjuha-Quantong, which has won five of its past seven games and dismantled Laharum 18.16 (124) to 4.1 (25).

Only a late goal to Alex Ellifson spared the Mountain Men a triple-digit defeat, but veteran forward Ben Peucker managed to break the team’s six-match streak without a multiple goal kicker by booting two majors.

Tireless midfielder Jason Kerr put in a second consecutive best-on-ground performance for the Bombers, shining alongside the likes of Dustin Cross, three goals, and Jye Walter, five.

Laharum will meet Pimpinio in a bottom of the ladder match this weekend, with the Tigers coming off a similar drubbing at the hands of Edenhope-Apsley.

The only knock on the Saints was inaccuracy in the 21.22 (148) to 3.4 (22) win.

Jak Ryan, Taylor Milner, Billy Finnigan and Carl Slape were among the team’s best players and each kicked multiple goals.

Daniel Baker, Simon Nuske and Steven Thomas played well for the Tigers, despite their team being ultimately outclassed. With Laharum struggling, Pimpinio could look at Saturday’s game as an opportunity to earn its first win of 2019.

Edenhope-Apsley, meanwhile, will take on one of the feel-good stories of the weekend in Taylors Lake.

The Lakers won their second match of the season against Rupanyup after a combined seven goals to Adam Phelan and Mitch Whelan helped break the game open.

A late push by the Panthers threatened to spoil Taylors Lake’s day, but the team held on for a 14.10 (94) to 11.11 (77) win.

Big man Tim Tyler and Paul Trotter, who swung from defence to attack and kicked four goals, were Rupanyup’s best on a disappointing day.

The Panthers’ run will not get any easier this round against Kalkee, which will be out to redeem itself after dropping out of the top six with a heavy loss to Harrow-Balmoral.

The Kees trailed by a point at quarter time, but were blown away in a 64-6 second term as Roos Michael and Simon Close ran rampant up forward.

Kalkee stemmed the bleeding slightly in the third and fourth quarters, but Harrow-Balmoral ran out with an easy 20.13 (133) to 7.6 (48) win.

The Roos will enter a bye week undefeated with a league-leading percentage of 342.69.

The team that had a bye at the weekend, Jeparit-Rainbow, will return to face Natimuk United on Saturday.

The entire July 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!