Understrength Pigeons competitive in pre-season bout

YARRAWONGA co-coach Chris Kennedy is satisfied with the reigning premier’s preparation for round one, despite losing to Bundoora by 21 points on Saturday.

Without a host of key names, the Pigeons put on a competitive showing against the reigning Northern football league premier that boasted former AFL players Ricky Dyson, Cameron Cloke and Gary Moorcroft.

“It was a cracking game of footy,” Kennedy said.

“It was a really good hitout for us.

Missing the likes of Craig Ednie, Kayne Pettifer, Brendan Fevola and Morris medallist Xavier Leslie, as well as prized recruit Michael Handby, the Pigeons were always going to be up against it in what turned out to be a physical encounter at Barooga.

“We just didn’t have the class,” Kennedy said.

“We were obviously pretty undermanned and they probably got us with depth.”

Playing coach Drew Barnes and Jeremy O’Brien stood out for the Pigeons in the loss.

Elsewhere, Wodonga Raiders were competitive against East Burwood at Jindera but fell short in the final quarter.

Luke Visser was a clear standout for the Raiders in defeat.

Corowa-Rutherglen scored a narrow win over Airport West.

The Roos were without coach Bryce Campbell, Luke Gestier and Jarred Lane.

Al Austin impressed across half-back.

Myrtleford lost to Geelong league heavyweight Grovedale by 10 goals.

Christian Burgess, Nathan Cossignani and Matt Dussin were the Saints’ best.

Lavington scored a five-point win over Benalla.

Adam Prior played for the Panthers, despite still being contracted at North Albury. Adam Flagg booted three goals in a low-scoring affair.