BARNAWARTHA’S position in the Tallangatta and District league’s top three is under serious threat after the Tigers suffered a shock 25-point loss to Beechworth at Beechworth on Saturday.
The third-placed reigning premier is only percentage clear of a rampant Thurgoona and play the other four teams in the five during the run to the finals.
Beechworth’s defence set up the win in the tough conditions, with Matt Hunt and Gareth Pritchard holding Josh Spence and Jarrod Williams goalless, with support coming from Stuart Thomson and Brayden Carey.
The lively Dylan Pritchard was damaging up forward with four majors.
Bushrangers coach Brenton Surrey said it was close to the team’s best win of the season.
“Everyone played their role,” Surrey said.
“I thought we would get better as the season went and beating Wahgunyah and Barnawartha shows we are improving.
“It’s about producing consistent efforts and we got that in this game.”
Beechworth has now won four matches and, with a favourable draw after this weekend’s clash with ladder leader Kiewa-Sandy Creek, could win as many as nine games, which would be a huge result after last season.
Tiger coach Mark Sarau paid tribute to the home team.
“We didn’t win a position in the forward line and that made things very difficult,” he said.
“It was a disappointing day but Beechworth played very well.
“We had a couple of chances early and missed them and paid the price.”
Thurgoona stormed past Tallangatta by 53 points at Tallangatta.
The Bulldogs had the match in their grasp after kicking five goals to one by quarter-time with Todd Miller, John Willis, Lucas Mellier and Luke Donnan playing well in the mud.
Tallangatta’s best were Darcy Carroll and Brad Fyffe.
Mitta United kept Yackandandah goalless in winning by 32 points at Yackandandah.
Despite the efforts of co-coach Trent Castles, the Roos were unable to hold Jack Wilson, Nathan Reynoldson and Nick Bowles.