Yarrawonga was beaten by Lavington on Saturday at JC Lowe Oval by a mere two points.
The game was played in perfect conditions with both sides focussing on defence as a priority and goals hard to find.
The game was continually held up with packs, ball-ups and scrimmages and the frustration was evident throughout the game on both sides of the fence.
It was a day of celebration for Marcus McMillan, playing his 200th game. His contribution was as always full on, he kicked a goal and a number of behinds, but victory was not in the cards for his milestone match.
McMillan has kicked 338 goals in 200 games, remarkable considering he played some 80 games in defence, and sits fourth on the all-time goal-kicking list.
Lavington outworked the Pigeons over the four quarters on Saturday and were the more deserving winners.
Victory could have been snatched in the closing stages but it wasn’t to be and Yarrawonga now sit with six wins and three losses at the halfway point of the season.
Pigeon Co-coach Chris Kennedy was as disappointed with the result, evidenced by his words to the players after the match.
Former Hawthorn coach Alan Jeans was famous for his speech before a grand final years ago about ‘paying the right price’ for a pair of shoes. He said if you want the best shoes you pay the right price, and the cheaper shoes lack the comfort and don’t last the distance. Results tell the story.
Three youngsters from the Under 18s and Murray Bushrangers stepped up – Isaac McMillan, Bailey Frauenfelder and Ryan Bruce – and all were outstanding contributors on the day.
Frauenfelder in particular had a dynamic second quarter and the Pigeons would undoubtedly have been further behind without his contribution.
The club will be hoping for a better performance next Saturday at home against Corowa Rutherglen to start the second half of the season.
Better players this week were; Drew Barnes, Bailey Frauenfelder, Xavier Leslie, Isaac McMillan, Ryan Bruce and Connor Hargreaves.
Chronicle award; Drew Barnes 5, Bailey Frauenfelder 4, Xavier Leslie 3, Connor Hargreaves 2, Ryan Bruce 1.
Chronicle award leaders after 9 rounds; Matt Gorman 21, Connor Hargreaves 15, Mark Whiley 11, Drew Barnes 11, Brady Pritchard 10, Tylar Bonat 7, Lachy Howe 7.
The Pigeons reserves reversed a form slump to record an 84 point victory over Lavington on Saturday.
The performance was a huge improvement on the past few games with a number of players putting their names up for senior selection.
David O’Dwyer in the ruck gave notice to both the opposition and selectors that he is ready for action.
Doug Arnold, James Elliott, Jayden Gallagher, the Hargreaves boys, Ross Mulquiney and Jordan Urquhart all showed great form.
Timothy Hargreaves was a pivotal focal point up forward and was given good support by Jaryd Whinray and Urquhart.
Coach Richard Handreck was back in action and gives the side great direction.
The reserves find themselves in good position at the halfway point and will be looking for a strong second half of the season.
The Pigeon thirds managed to put last week’s poor performance aside to push Lavington Panthers out of the top five.
The boys were a little slow out of the blocks but goals to Tim Lawrence and Ronan Pritchard kept them in the contest, albeit 7 points down at the first break.
The second saw the young Pigeons lift their intensity. Matt Casey was dominant up forward kicking two goals, while Tim Lawrence added another.
The backline received a boost this week with the addition of James Jordon home from school and so with the likes of Troy Bryce, Kayden Sharp, Darcy Norman, Beau Zanin and Clay Woodward, they managed to keep many of the Panther attacks from scoring.
A late goal to Ely Smith saw the boys take a one point lead into the main break.
The third saw the boys continue their attack with Jack Sexton using his speed on the wing to great advantage but inaccuracy up forward meant that this wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard.
Finn O’Dwyer, also home from school, showed his exceptional talent setting up Harry Meade for the quarter’s only goal. Harry another under 16s player stepping up, showed he is more than ready to take the next step.
This meant the boys had a 10 point lead going into the last.
Cam Magher on return from injury had worked hard all day up forward and finally got rewarded with two quick goals.
In a best on ground performance, James Jordon continued to wreak havoc down back, repeatedly taking intercept marks and driving the ball forward.
Goals to Ely Smith and Tim Lawrence saw the game done and dusted.
Yarrawonga 11.12.78 defeated Lavington 7.8.50.