Record — 4-1
Ladder Position — 2nd
Best Win — R1, Leitchville-Gunbower (8.21) 69 def. North Bendigo (6.8) 44.
Having beaten the Bulldogs in last year’s grand final, the mental edge was already on the side of the Bombers, but it was important to get the win to remind clubs they were still top dogs. What matters most was the scoreline — the Bombers won the game despite kicking 21 behinds. This shows that this team is powerful, but can be deadly if accurate.
Review — Despite a loss to Colbinabbin, the Bombers have looked as powerful this year as ever. Matt Perri once again leads the goal kicking, and the addition of Jack Gleeson has made the side even better. A big game against Huntly awaits post bye, but it’s hard to argue against this side’s credentials right now.
Grading — A-
Record — 3-4
Ladder Position — 10th
Best Win — R2, Tongala (18.4) 112 def. Mulwala (13.17) 95.
This match showed exactly what Tongala is capable of when it plays its best football. Against a side that sits higher on the ladder at the break, the Blues were almost faultless in front of the goals. Mark Watson booted five, Matthew Roberson had two as the Blues kicked 18. When it scores heavily, Tongala is a great side, and this game proved it.
Review — There was a lot of concern going into this after the loss of a coach, but the tone was set for the club when Jordan Souter put his hand up and said he wanted to lead the club. The Blues have performed strongly for the most part, a few faults but have been very good considering where many saw them.
Grading — B+
Record — 3-2
Ladder position — 5th
Best result — R2, 3.8 (26) loss to Huntly 10.12 (72)
Although still a loss, the Cats had only played lesser opposition until they came up against league leaders Huntly in round two. With numerous squandered opportunities in front of goal in tricky circumstances, the Cats held their own and were not embarrassed by the best side in the Heathcote and District League. And from that result, they learned their mistakes and went on to squash White Hills before the bye.
Review — For a team that only won four matches in total last year, the Cats are doing remarkably well. In round five they have already won three, and look set to nail in a top six spot in the coming weeks after interleague. With Jarod Bacon banging in goals for fun, and the leadership of Kahl Oliver from the sidelines, the Cats have the potential for some major upsets this year.
Grading — B+
Record — 3-3
Ladder Position — 8th
Best Win — R1, Echuca (13.13) 91 def. Tatura (12.12) 84.
The Murray Bombers have not been known for their strong starts to seasons across the last few years, and had the opportunity to show they could start well. The Bulldogs were on top for majority of the game, but the Murray Bombers ran over the top in the last quarter to claim a win. Simon Buckley was the hero with 47 touches.
Review — The Maddox/Walker era is off to a strong start for the Echuca Murray Bombers. The opening three rounds saw the clubs make a perfect start, though they have dropped their three games since then. Injuries are an issue, they will be looking to get a few back soon. With two easy games after the week off, expect a return to form.
Grading — B
Record — 3-3
Ladder Position — 9th
Best Win — R7, Moama (12.13) 85 def. Rumbalara (11.13) 79.
Moama entered this game 2-3, on the back of its second win and desperate to get another win to consolidate that form. The Magpies got some breathing space with a six goal third quarter, but Rumbalara made a charge in the final quarter and nearly snatched the game. The Magpies showed composure to kick a solitary goal that ended up saving the game, with a missed shot to end the game from Rumbalara giving the Pies the win.
Review — After the win in the Three Jacks to start the year off, Moama struggled for the next three weeks. The Magpies bounced back after the bye to win their next two, but there is no doubt the club underperformed. Four and two is where they should be. Expect them to improve in the rest of the season.
Grading — C+
Record — 2-4
Ladder position — 11th
Best win — R5, Echuca United (18.15) 123 def. Congupna (3.8) 26.
The Eagles’ maiden win came against The Road in a time when they could not have needed it more. After four crushing defeats, including to local rivals Moama in the Three Jacks Trophy in round one; and a heart-breaking two point loss to Rumbalara, United needed to bounce back hard against Congupna. And they did. In an emphatic 97-point drubbing, the Eagles had taken off and were finally under way in the Murray Football League.
Review — This was a team that comfortably finished in the top six last year. After six games in 2017, the Eagles were fourth with five wins and a loss. With the next two matches against teams around them on the ladder, now is the time to show they have learnt from their opening games jitters.
Grading — D