GVL ǀ Saints no match for dominant Echuca

Big duel: Benalla’s Josh Marchbank and Echuca’s Liam Tenace tussle in the ruck. Photo: Josh Huntly

Echuca enjoyed a resounding win over Benalla at the weekend on the back of a Ruory Kirkby masterclass at Victoria Park.

Benalla’s two-game winning streak came to an end, delivering the Saints their ninth defeat of the season to knock them back to 11th.

Kirkby was at his dominant best to kick a whopping 10 goals, headlining an emphatic demolition of Benalla that extends the Murray Bombers’ winning streak to 10 games.

The Saints failed to register a major in the round-11 Goulburn Valley League defeat, 23.19 (157) to 0.4 (4) the final score.

James Martiniello and Saints ruck Josh Marchbank worked hard in the midfield, Marchbank registering 38 hitouts to gift his midfielders class service.

Will and James Martiniello battled for it at the coal-face, collecting 34 and 29 touches respectively.

In A-Grade netball action, the Saints went down to a strong Echuca side which was eager to get its campaign back on track.

The Murray Bombers responded after back-to-back defeats in the 65-36 triumph at Victoria Park, setting the tone early to cruise out to a 10-goal lead.

Sally Washfold, Kelsey Pallpratt, and Chloe Hill battled hard for the visitors, but the class of the home side would come to the fore, the likes of Jacquie James, Greta Pearson and Claire Byrne helping secure the win for their side.

The Saints’ B-grade and B-reserve netball sides both suffered tough losses to dominant Echuca sides, B-grade losing out 70-37, while B-reserve went down 77-22.

In junior action, the 17 and under girls couldn’t match it with their Echuca opponent, losing 62-18, while the 15 and under girls were defeated 47-17.

Benalla’s women’s football outfit enjoyed a bye in Northern Country Women’s League, and will face Nathalia in the final home-and away fixture this Sunday at Benalla Showgrounds.

Getting rid of it: Sam Willoughby wraps up Will Martiniello. Photo: Josh Huntly