Albury forward bags season-high eight goals against Panthers

Albury's Erish Uthayakumar kicked a season-high eight goals against Lavington.
Albury's Erish Uthayakumar kicked a season-high eight goals against Lavington.

Albury recruit Erish Uthayakumar has arrived as a fully-fledged O and M weapon after grabbing his best haul of eight goals against Lavington.

The former Victorian Amateurs’ forward was outstanding in the 20.9 (129) to 12.11 (83) win in the grand final re-match.

Uthayakumar was quizzed if his breakout game made him feel like he had adapted to the region’s highest level.

“Yeah, I think so, but I won’t be getting carried away, hopefully I can continue with this pattern,” he said.

The 22-year-old’s rapid development is just what opposition teams don’t need as they already battle with how to stop Josh Mellington.

The former Fremantle forward kicked five to take his tally to 78 from only 10 games.

Mellington is virtually assured his second Doug Strang Medal as he has a 13-goal break on Wangaratta’s Michael Newton with just two games left.

Uthayakumar has now worked his way into fourth spot with 41 majors.

And if that’s not enough, former SANFL premiership player Brayden O’Hara was dynamite with four goals.

He landed three in the first quarter and after battling a calf complaint, which he injured four times by round five, O’Hara has roared back to form.

The silky left-footer is one of the league’s most dangerous players with the ability to kick 50-metre plus goals.

Lavington matched the Tigers in the first term, but five goals to one in the second sealed a 14th straight win.

Ex-Western Bulldog best and fairest Daniel Cross played his first game in six weeks, due to his running commitments with AFL club Melbourne, and didn’t look like he’d been away, while Mellington again handed off goals to team-mates.

Meanwhile, Lavington has an interesting dilemma in its forward line.

Manufactured full-forward Brant Dickson was brilliant in kicking his second bag of five following the suspension to Adam Prior.

The multiple Doug Strang medallist has played only three games, kicking nine goals.

He’s set to return in round 18 against Wodonga Raiders.

Albury stars Chris Hyde and Michael Duncan didn’t play.