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23 June 2021
The entire June 23, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
By DEAN LAWSON
Just how much has the latest COVID-19 lockdown upset the applecart when it comes to Wimmera football league fortunes in 2021?
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Have the delays and uncertainties played so much havoc on teams’ stability that we are looking at different scenarios unfolding in the second half of the year?
Perhaps, but we’ll wait and see.
There were certainly some fascinating results at the weekend that hinted as much, although they might have also simply reflected the usual topsy-turvy flow of mid-season form.
What we know for sure is that Minyip-
Murtoa has firmed even more as the team to beat in 2021.
The Burras have shored up top spot on the ladder, albeit only by percentage from Stawell, and are likely to have Warrack Eagles’ measure at Warracknabeal this weekend.
Last week Minyip-Murtoa flexed its muscles against winless Nhill, Corey Morgan and Jae McGrath kicking four goals each as Daniel Bibby, Luke Chamberlain and Nick Petering impressed.
In the end, the Burras finished with a 99-point win.
Minyip-Murtoa comes up against a Warrack Eagles side that sat out last weekend with a bye and has only four points for the year to date. Perhaps the biggest curiosity of this week’s round, however, involves the Burras’ top-of-the-ladder sparring partner Stawell.
The Warriors came unstuck in a thriller against a determined Horsham Saints last week in a result determined in the last minutes of the game.
Stawell takes on arch rival Ararat this weekend at Stawell and if any side was to capitalise on any blood in the water it will be the visiting Rats.
Ararat finds itself in a group jostling for position on the fringe of the top five and after finishing seven goals off the pace against Southern Mallee Giants last week needs a bounce-back victory.
It’s line-in-the-sand time for the seventh-placed Rats who are on the same points as sixth team Horsham and a game behind Dimboola and Horsham Saints.
Cody Lindsay, Brody Griffin and Henry Shea carried the red and white flag last week and will need plenty of mates to upset the Warriors.
Stawell of course will be on the rebound at home at Central Park and while the narrow loss to the Saints would have knocked the stuffing out of the Northern Grampians outfit, it might have also been a wake-up call.
In the five-point loss to the Saints, Warriors such as Tom and Jack Walker stood tall alongside Jackson Dark and Cam Kimber, while Cody Driscoll kicked four goals.
Horsham Saints will take a renewed sense of confidence into a game against a Dimboola side which found itself on a 15-point loss to Horsham.
The Saints secured critical points in those dramatic last few minutes against Stawell and will need to continue that self-belief this weekend.
Nick Caris kicked five goals in the win in a standout effort and others such as Luke Hendy, Daniel Rees and busy Sam Clyne were good.
Dimboola must bounce back this weekend to restore top-tier-team credibility and is hard to beat at home.
The Roos had Hayden Walters on song with three goals last week and Mitch Jorgensen continues to impress.
Horsham, meanwhile, secured the win it desperately needed and will take that form into a clash with Nhill at Nhill.
Matt Wynne led the honours for the Demons against the Roos, Ben Lakin maintaining his sterling season and Rhona Conboy relishing his time in attack with five goals.
Nhill is in the middle of a tough season, although Liam Albrecht, Jarryd Dahlenburg and Tim Bone collected club votes against Minyip-Murtoa.