BY NATHAN DOLE
KERANG was too strong for Cohuna as the 2022 grand finalists met in Saturday’s fourth round of senior footy in the Central Murray FNL season.
The Blues had home-ground advantage at Kerang’s Riverside Park for match of the day in the 3SH-backed competition.
Cohuna made a great start and led 24-20 at quarter-time.
The Blues upped their game in the second to score 5.2 to 1.1 for a 17-point buffer at half-time.
Defences were well on top for most of the third, although Kerang added 3.5 to 1.2.
Led by the play of captain Josh Nitschke, Adam Hunter and Rylee Smith, Kerang kicked away to record a 96-58 victory.
Blues’ coach Troy Coates and Michael Runciman led the attack on three goals as Ryan Gillingham, Bradlee Pay and Rylee Smith added two each.
The only multiple goalkicker for the Tyson Findlay-coached Cohuna was Joel Helman on two.
Kerang’s best included Josh Hann, Michael Dalrymple and Jesse Clark.
The Kangas’ best were Joel Helman, Chris Anderson, Jarrod Findlay, Daniel Coates, Will Thrum and Tynan Dove.
Swan Hill’s gun recruit Michael Hurley kicked four goals in a 32-point win against Nyah Nyah West United in Swan Hill.
After calling the end to a 194-game career with Essendon at the end of the ’23 season, Hurley made the trek north to play for Swan Hill.
The Demons won a closely-fought first term, 9-8, before an inaccurate Swan Hill added 2.9 to 1.2 in the second.
Swan Hill’s goalkicking improved markedly in the third as it scored 4.2 to 3.3 for a 17-point lead at a quarter to play.
The VFL experience that ruckman Toby Thoolen gained with Collingwood is a huge plus as he was best afield in an 89-57 victory.
The Swans attack was led by Michael Hurley, four; and Zach Mihocek, three.
The Mihocek name also has links to Essendon as Jack Mihocek played 13 matches for the Bombers between 1976 and ’78.
Multiple goalkickers for Nyah Nyah West United were Blake Larkings and Jarrod Skinner on two.
Best for Swan Hill were Toby Thoolen, Jarvis Keogh, Wilhem Bennett, Jose Miliado, Adam Manning and Tom Holdstock.
Zack Threadgold, Riley Daniels, Kayne Davidson, Brayden Bigham, Mitch Grinham and Dominic Gallo played well for the NNWU Demons.
Mallee Eagles soared to their first win of the season against Tooleybuc Manangatang at Tooleybuc.
The Eagles led 38-9 at quarter-time and 45-11 by the long break.
Darcy and Harry McGregor, and Matthew Despott played crucial roles as Mallee Eagles went on to mark an 87-39 victory.
The in-form Brent Macleod kicked three goals for the Eagles as Paul Davis and Zac O’Meara chipped in with two each.
Only multiple goalkicker for the Saints was Mitchell Grant on two.
Zac O’Meara, Brent Macleod and Harrison Allen were among Mallee’s best.
Tooleybuc Manangatang’s best were Blake Grant, Tim Auckland, Jack Mazzarella, Mitchell Grant, John Wardle and Connor McDonald.
Lake Boga won three of four quarters in a 95-46 win against Tyntynder at Lake Boga Sports Club.
The Magpies led 34-12 at quarter-time before the Bulldogs bit back to win the second, 12-10.
Lake Boga scored 4.2 to 1.2 in the third and 5.1 to 2.2 in the last.
Jayden Lonergan, Matthew Payne, Tyle Williams, and former Essendon and Port Adelaide forward Angus Monfries all kicked two goals for the Magpies.
The talented Jason Eagle kicked four goals for Tyntynder.
Best for the Magpies were Tyle Williams, Lincoln Sieben, Jake Warren, Jacob Simpson, Nathaniel Holmes-Brown and Xavier Sherlock.
Tyntynder’s best were Matthew Gilbee, Jason Eagle, Josh Stone, Elia Ware, Cayden and Patrick Crowe.
Balranald dominated its clash with Koondrook Barham at Barham.
The Kangaroos led 40-nil at quarter-time and 72-2 by half-time.
Ethan Gant and Jydon Neagle booted four goals each as Ben Fuller and Drew Lloyd added three.
Just as importantly, Balranald conceded just one goal kicked by Matthew Dean.
Balranald’s best were Ethan Gant, Ryan Middlebrook, Tom Salau, Josh Hodgson, Jaxon Neagle and Jack Jones.
Mitch Christensen, Scott Wood, Jacob Barrington, Harley Burmeister-Lyons, Jack Thrum and James Martin worked hard on a tough afternoon for the River Raiders.
Woorinen had the bye.
Central Murray FNL senior footy ladder:
Kerang 337 per cent, 16 points; Balranald 253, 12; Lake Boga 114, 12; Woorinen 201, 8; Cohuna 113, 8; Swan Hill 89, 8; Nyah Nyah West United 111, 4; Tooleybuc Manangatang 77, 4; Tyntynder 77, 4; Mallee Eagles 59, 4; Koondrook Barham 20, 0.
Leaders in the goalkicking race:
12 Bradlee Pay, Kerang.
12 Michael Runciman, Kerang.
12 Josh Williams, Tooleybuc Manangatang.
11 Troy Coates, Kerang.
11 Rhys Free, Cohuna.
9 Danko Bzenic, Woorinen.
8 Charlie Boulton, Nyah Nyah West United.
8 William Collicoat, Woorinen.
8 Luke Conca, Cohuna.
8 Jack Donat, Cohuna.
8 Brent Macleod, Mallee Eagles.
8 Zach Mihocek, Swan Hill.
7 Ben Fuller, Balranald.
7 Drew Lloyd, Balranald.
7 Jydon Neagle, Balranald.
In Saturday’s fifth round, Balranald and Lake Boga meet on the Kangaroos’ ground at Balranald’s Greenham Park from 2.30pm in the clash between second and third.
Tyntynder takes on Kerang at Alan Garden Reserve in Swan Hill.
Woorinen Tigers are at home to face Koondrook Barham.
Cohuna tackles Swan Hill at Cohuna Recreation Reserve.
Nyah Nyah West United meets Tooleybuc Manangatang in the battle of the Demons and Saints at Nyah Recreation Reserve.
Mallee Eagles have the bye.