‘Worst footy’ sees women’s team fall from the top

By Riverine Herald

ECHUCA’S women’s side played their ‘‘worst footy in a year and a half’’ on Sunday, ending their short-lived reign at the top of the NCWL.

The Murray Bombers were beaten by their Northern Country Women’s League bogey team, the Benalla Saints, by seven points at Vic Park — putting a stop to their four-week unbeaten streak.

Benalla has won both encounters with the Bottle Green this year, in round three and in round eight.

The 21-28 score line was not one coach Mick McInnes expected at the first bounce. His side warmed up well and were focused on their jobs ahead.

‘‘To be honest I think we were lucky the score line wasn’t worse than it was,’’ McInnes said.

‘‘It was a bit of everything, they were second to the ball all day and Benalla was better at the contest, and getting the ball to their outside runners.’’

McInnes said his side showed ‘‘patches’’ of what they were capable of, in beating top of the league Shepparton Bears the week previous.

But it didn’t last long enough to be effective, and the Saints showed their class to take the game.

‘‘It was nowhere near our best, the week after our best win of the year as well. There is only percentage now separating the top three, and we’re definitely happy with how we’re going, we just need to finish strongly,’’ he said.

Kerang away from home awaits Echuca on Sunday. The fifth-placed side were belted by the Murray Bombers in their last encounter, but McInnes said it won’t be so easy this time around.

‘‘Kerang we won pretty easy last time but they’ll have more players available this time as they were injured previously.

‘‘Interleague training also starts on Friday night, so it will be interesting to see who’s still available to play, as there have been a number of injuries to other clubs recently,’’ he said.