Opening stanza hurts Lions

Nathan McKendrick and Mitta’s David Paton contest for the ball. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Nathan McKendrick and Mitta’s David Paton contest for the ball. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

WAHGUNYAH’S finals aspirations were dealt a body blow when it suffered a shock 15-point loss to Beechworth at Beechworth on Saturday.

The Lions paid the price for a disastrous opening quarter when the home team’s two-pronged attack of Dylan Pritchard and Chris Taylor created havoc to set up a 34-point lead at the first break.

The buffer proved insurmountable as ruckman Jeff Whitehead, key backman Matt Hunt and half-forward Josh Garland responded to every challenge.

Coach Brenton Surrey said his team had backed up the performance against Mitta United next weekend.

“We played reasonably well after getting off to a really good start,” Surrey said.

“That set it up for us.

“Wahgunyah challenged us during the second and third quarters so it was good to hold on and finish the game well.

“We just need 21 blokes going each week and keeping it basic.”

Wahgunyah closed the gap to 15 points at three-quarter-time but the effort took its toll with Nic O’Bryan, James Wilson and Aaron Robins lacking the support to close out the match.

Pritchard and Taylor kicked six and five goals respectively for the victors.

Yackandandah unleashed a brilliant final term to overpower Wodonga Saints by 15 points at Yackandandah.

The Roos trailed by 28 points at the last change before kicking 8.5 to 1.4 to clinch a memorable victory through the efforts of Jake Wicker, Trent Castles and Nathanael Dudley.

Castles (six) and Jeremy Grove (five) were chief destroyers in attack.

Wodonga Saints had solid contributors in Chris Hutchinson, Craig Lieschke and Josh Lieschke.

Thurgoona hammered Rutherglen by 143 points.

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