Pigeons stun flag favourites

Leigh Williams was once again pivotal in the Pigeons win, booting 5 majors. Photo by Les_Garbutt

Yarrawonga 2.5, 5.10, 9.12, 11.14.80.

Wangaratta 1.2, 5.4, 5.8, 7.10.52.

Goals: Yarrawonga: L Williams 5, B Frauenfelder 4, M Whiley 1, N Fothergill 1.

Wangaratta: B Reid 2, F Holland – Dean 1, L McVeigh 1, A Ankers 1, J Richards 1, M Newton 1.

Best: Yarrawonga: L Howe, H Wheeler, B Frauenfelder, L Masters, M Gibbons, M Holgate.

Wangaratta: J Clarke, L McVeigh, D Porter, M Hedin, D Sharrock, M Bordignon.

The Yarrawonga Pigeons have thrown their hat into the ring as a genuine Ovens and Murray premiership contender on the back of an astonishing performance against the previously undefeated Wangaratta Magpies.

The Pigeons recorded the 28-point victory in what many would believe to be one of the finest victories in the club's history.

The glaringly obvious task staring directly at the Pigeons was the prospect of negating the ever-dangerous Magpies forward line, which included three former AFL players in Ben Reid, Callum Moore and Michael Newton.

The defensive unit of the Pigeons rallied and were able to produce an inspirational team effort to keep the Pies to only seven goals for the entire game.

At the other end of the ground, it was the electric Bailey Frauenfelder who was dealing huge blows to the Pies early in the first term.

Frauenfelder lit up the JC Lowe Oval with two long range goals from outside fifty in the identical spot to get the Pigeons off to the best possible start in the top of the table clash.

Missed opportunities in front of the big sticks was a slight concern early for Yarrawonga, as they squandered a chance to take a big lead against the Pies in the first quarter. The Magpies were able to hit back with a goal to Joe Richards after a dubious holding free kick was awarded to the Pies.

The Pigeons with an 8-point buffer at the first change.

Things began to even up in the second quarter with both sides raising their efforts and intensity around the ball.

The Pies were able to boot through four majors to the Pigeons three in the quarter that had plenty of highlights that kept the large crowd entertained.

Nick Fothergill crumbed a loose ball, used his pace to escape a tackle and showed ultimate class to snap through a belter from the pocket.

Leigh Williams then climbed on top of two Pies defenders to take a spectacular grab in the goal square and convert truly. The Pigeons knew that if they continued to play with the same intent, they could extend their six-point half time lead as the Pies would have limited rotations due to two key players being ruled out of the game.

Jack Sexton has impressed in the seniors this year, pictured getting the ball away from a Magpies opponent. Photo by Les_Garbutt

The third quarter began with the Pigeons going to a new level. It was Frauenfelder yet again who was the spark, weaving through traffic to put through his third of the afternoon.

Ryan Einsporn was then dumped after disposing of the ball which gave Leigh Williams a golden opportunity to goal downfield.

Williams shortly after was spotted up by Tim Lawrence inside fifty in an identical spot to boot through another and put a handy space on the Magpies.

Mark Whiley was held clearly without the football at the 13-minute mark of the third quarter inside fifty and slotted through a big goal at an important stage of the game.

The Pigeons with four unanswered majors and playing with great vigour and passion.

Throughout the afternoon there were some enormous individual efforts, many of which came from the Yarrawonga leaders.

Lach Howe was instrumental in the ruck for the Pigeons, not only dominating the hit-outs, but following up with great tackle pressure and ball use around the ground.

Harry Wheeler and Michael Gibbons were incredible through the middle of the ground. Wheeler with 30 disposals and Gibbons with 27 however both laid several heavy tackles that stuck which was a real highlight and theme throughout the day.

Jack Forge played a fantastic selfless game for Yarrawonga, sacrificing his own game to quell the influence of Wangaratta star Joe Richards.

Forge did a mighty job for his team and is building a reputation of taking down some of the competition's biggest stars. Whilst Leigh Masters was yet again outstanding, this week back down in defence chopping off numerous Magpies attacks with an astonishing 15 marks and 25 disposals for the afternoon.

The first goal of the final quarter was going to mean a lot in the context of the game.

With nine minutes elapsing on the JC Lowe scoreboard, it was the towering Leigh Williams who would play in front and take a diving chest mark close to the boundary.

Williams ran around and snapped through his fifth major to give the Pigeons a game high 34-point lead. A huge roar from the Pigeons faithful who knew their side had just about finished off the Pies.

With the margin back to 28 points after a Pie reply, Bailey Frauenfelder put the finishing touches on the game with a glorious snap around the body deep in the pocket in front the Wangaratta Magpies interchange.

Kayden Sharp stretches high to take this mark. Photo by Les_Garbutt

The Pigeons rejoiced as they had come to the realization that their hard work and planning mid-week had paid off. A victory that will instil huge belief in the young group and potentially be the start of a special back end of season 2022.

Yarrawonga with many reasons to celebrate but none bigger than the debut of Tanner Nyholm who made his YFNC debut after impressing in the Reserves grade recently.

Nyholm is a smooth moving winger who has used the ball well and worked hard both ways since he joined the club at round 4 this season.


Yarrawonga 18.6.114 defeated Wangaratta 6.3.39.

The Yarrawonga Reserves have notched up another valuable victory after a powerful performance against the Wangaratta Magpies at the JC Lowe Oval.

In somewhat deja vu for the Pigeons, the opposition were able to get the jump on them, booting the first two goals of the game before the Pigeons kicked into gear.

It started in the midfield with Matt McCabe playing a pivotal role in the ruck against a quality opponent in Zac Leitch. McCabe, along with Max Hemphill, Xavier Leslie and Zec Cuppens were able to get on top of the Pies around the ball and get it into the dangerous forward line.

Brandon Symes was presenting strongly after a stint on the sidelines and provided a great target for the Pigeons kicking two majors.

Coach Matt Grinter was lively up forward whilst veteran and thirds coach Hornet Frauenfelder got on the end of two successive passages of play to hit the scoreboard with two goals. The Pigeons after a slow start, turned things around to lead by 27 points at the first change.

One of the players of the day was Pigeon champ Scotty Oswald. Oswald was everywhere for the Pigeons playing on a wing and being involved in countless scoring chains.

With a lead of 46 points at half time, the Pigeons wanted to ensure they continued the momentum in the lead up to the top of the table clash in the seniors.

Four thirds players who backed up to play reserves were fantastic contributors. Oscar Elliot, Sam Hemphill, Hunter Frauenfelder and Hunter Surrey were all instrumental in providing much needed run and carry.

The defence of the Pigeons which included Cory Pearn, Nick Dykes and Judd Hooper remained solid all day with a focus to be desperate in defence and be the communicators of the group.

The four points means the Pigeons are clear of Wodonga Bulldogs in 2nd position and will look to continue their form into another important clash against the Lavington Panthers this weekend.

Goals: Xav Leslie 3, Ross Mulquiney 2, Matt Grinter 2, Brandon Symes 2, Matt McCabe 2, Craig Frauenfelder 2, Jacob Adkins, Hayden Cartwright, Max Hemphill, Scott Oswald, Reid Clarke 1.

Best: Xav Leslie, Zec Cuppens, Brandon Symes, Scott Oswald, Max Hemphill, Reid Clarke.


Yarrawonga 7.4.46 defeated by Wangaratta 13.7.85.

A second quarter fade out has hurt the Yarrawonga Pigeons Thirds as the Wangaratta Magpies have run away with a 39-point win.

As the season progresses, Oscar Elliot is continuing to show great ‘ticker’ as he is consistently putting his head over the ball and featuring in the Pigeons best players.

Elliot also backed up with three other teammates to help the Reserves fill a side in a great display of character.

Hunter Surrey and Mac Pendergast continue to help shoulder a lot of the work for the Pigeons whilst the Psaltaris twins both have had great seasons to date since joining the YFNC.

In a positive sign, the Pigeons were able to somewhat match it with the strong Magpies outfit in the second half, however the Pies just had too many winners across the ground.

The defeat to the Magpies has seen the Pigeons slip to 7th spot on the ladder however with an opportunity to hit back with a win against an 8th placed Lavington greets them this weekend.

Goals: Hunter Surrey 3, Oscar Elliott 2, Hunter Frauenfelder, Daniel Psaltaris 1.

Best: Oscar Elliott, Hunter Surrey, Mac Pendergast, Dan Psaltiras, Addy Psaltiras, Brendan Ryan.

Awards: Oscar Elliott (Wingates), Hunter Surrey (Aerial Muscle), Tom Oliver (Yarra Fish & Chips).

YFNC Gate Raffle – The club are still looking for the winning ticket of 99770. If someone has the ticket, can they please call Ray Humphries on 0407 300 793.

Yarrawonga Pigeons coach Mark Whiley talks to his players at quarter time.

Pigeons Loft

Last weekend the Pigeons took on the Magpies for the first time this season, one week out of schedule, but on a perfect winter’s day at the JC Lowe Oval.

It was hard to know where to look on the day: the A Grade match between two teams looking for the double chance, 1 v 2 at 2pm in 1sts or the Mint Boutique Ladies’ Day with well over 100 ladies in attendance in their winter finery.

The netball results were simply outstanding, 4 from 4. You cannot ask for more.

The 3rd XVIII fought hard all game but were outclassed. The 2nd XVIII won well and were well served by the all too familiar names of Dykes, Symes, Grinter and Leslie.

The 1st XVIII match was a close affair and great football to watch. 6 wins from 7 matches was a great result for the day.

However, as mentioned earlier, it was perhaps the fillies lining up for the Mint Boutique Ladies Day that took the chocolates.

The club would like to thank Paris Bonat, Caitlin Jaques and their band of helpers including Anna Barnes and Drew Barnes from the Bang Event Co. Events such as that do not just happen, your work, innovation and care makes your club – thank you!

This Saturday we all head up the Murray as a whole club to Lavington: the AWJFL boys in the u12s, u14s, u16s will use oval number 2 during the day whilst the Ovens and Murray matches will take centre stage at their normal times.

After the game the Pigeons are hosting at the JC Lowe Oval an entire club function starting at 7pm: A Night Hypnotized with Andy Venning – it is sure to be a great night and we hope to see many of our supporters enjoying the night with the players.

Dinner will be provided and with happy hour from 7pm til 8pm at $40pp it will be a great night for all!

We take this opportunity to thank major partners: ClubMulwala, Kennedy Builders, Belmores, Blum, Yarrawonga Holiday Park, Yarrawonga Hotel and Yield Finance for their support.

Pigeon Con: Ladies’ Day Recover: What's the best thing for a hangover? - Drinking heavily the night before.

Awards – Football

Seniors: Jack Forge (Yarrawonga Hotel).

Reserves: Brandon Symes (Yarrawonga Hotel).

Thirds: Hunter Surrey (Wingates).

Awards – Netball

A-Grade: Kylie Leslie (Yarrawonga Hotel).

B-Grade: Simone Brown (Yarrawonga Hotel).

C-Grade: Delaynee Moon (Yarrawonga Hotel).

17&U: Mylah Kennedy (Free as a Bird).

Important dates:

June 25 – Hypnotist Night.

July 23 - Club Mulwala Ball.