Tigers let Dees off lightly

July 17, 2017

Back in yellow and black: Rochester's Steven Stroobants and Nathan Marrone returned from Victoria Country duties to help the Tigers defeat Shepparton United.

Can't stop me: Tom McCluskey escapes a takle from Rochester coach James Flaherty.

Rochester shored up its position in the Goulburn Valley League’s top six with a 61-point drubbing of Shepparton United.

The Demons started the match full of vigour and intensity, booting the first two goals of the game, but the Tigers quickly regained control to dictate proceedings at Moon Oval.

If not for some inaccurate kicking in front of goal — Rochester had 41 scoring shots, but only managed 16 majors — the margin would have looked much worse for the away side.

‘‘Our first quarter was really good, we attacked the ball, were first in, used it well and took the first option,’’ Shepparton United coach Peter Sheehan said.

‘‘For times in the second we were good as well, but we just didn’t compete in the third and it’s really frustrating and disappointing to fall away so quickly like that.’’

With such a young side the Demons were always going to struggle to match it one-on-one with the bigger bodies of Rochester, but Sheehan was happy with how his charges used pace to their advantage early.

‘‘The pressure around the footy early was really good and we were beating them on the outside,’’ he said.

‘‘But when our work-rate stopped, it comes back to winning the contested ball and our young bodies just couldn’t compete.

‘‘We just keep leaving too much to too few and it’s very frustrating.’’

Liam Fiore and Daniel Bowles worked well under immense pressure down back, while Jye Chalcraft continues to impress with just six senior games under his belt.

Rochester playing coach James Flaherty noted that while his side did not inflict as much damage as it could have, it still had a good day out.

‘‘We missed quite a few opportunities and were a bit inaccurate,’’ he said.

‘‘They (Shepparton United) came out and started pretty well, but after 15 minutes we sort of got into the swing of it and controlled the rest of the game.

‘‘There was a lot more upside than negatives for us.’’

The return of a host of stars certainly gave the Tigers a huge boost, with Nathan Marrone and Steven Stroobants (Victoria Country) and Dylan Cuttriss (concussion) among the inclusions.

‘‘He (Cuttriss) has had a couple of weeks off now and saw a surgeon and got the all clear,’’ Flaherty said.

‘‘It’s great to have him back.

‘‘The midfield group stood up all day and they (Marrone and Stroobants) make a huge difference, they both had an impact on the game as we expect them to do.’’

Nick O’Connor and Nathan McCarty were also standouts for the home side, while Jarod Bacon led a contingent of 11 individual goal-kickers with three.

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