WANGARATTA has reversed an early season loss against arch-rival Wangaratta Rovers with a crushing 64-point win on the eve of the Ovens and Murray Football League under-18s finals series.
The Magpies took the upper-hand in the first quarter at Norm Minns Oval on Sunday by kicking five goals to three to lead by 13 points.
Wangaratta’s defence, led by full-back Braeden Brendel, kept the Hawks scoreless in the second quarter before the Magpies piled on another five goals to one in the third to take complete control.
Wangaratta, the premiers of the past two seasons, and Wangaratta Rovers are destined to meet in the qualifying final with the winner to advance to a second semi-final showdown against minor premier Albury.
The Hawks couldn’t contain the Magpies’ two lively half-forwards, Harrison Berenger (four) and Louis Vescio (three), who kicked seven goals between them.
The Magpies other reliable avenue to goal, Zac Blackshaw, was kept to two goals by Hawks’ defender and best player, Bradley Collihole.
Wangaratta was also well served by Will Reilly, Danyon Hearne and Patrick Eefting with the latter returning from an extended run at senior level for the past two games against Albury and Wangaratta Rovers.
The Magpies will finish off the home and away rounds against Corowa-Rutherglen and the Hawks play Alpine Eagles.
Wangaratta Rovers’ fortunes suffered a blow when midfielder Dylan Wilson broke his hand in his senior debut against Yarrawonga last round.
Lavington closed the door on North Albury’s chances of forcing its way into fifth spot with a comfortable 42-point win against the Hoppers at Bunton Park.
The Panthers put the result beyond doubt with a seven goals to two first quarter.
Hayden Hamilton, Connor Clayton and Corey Wilson were dominant players for the Panthers with Tyler Berry and Matthew Doody named in the Hoppers’ best.
Corowa-Rutherglen scored a thrilling three-point win against Wodonga Raiders at Birallee Park.
James Svarc, who made his senior debut this season, booted three goals for the Roos as Josh Clark, Ben Harvey and Ryan Maxwell also perfomed well for the victors.
Fourth-placed Yarrawonga tuned up for the finals with a 73-point touch-up of Wodonga at J.C. Lowe Oval.
Key forward Jack Welsh booted five goals for the Pigeons as Cameron Tregenza, Jake Wild and Jack Cooke also played starring roles.
Albury downed Alpine Eagles by 61 points at McNamara Reserve.