SUNRAYSIA Football Netball League won both football and netball contests with the Goldacres-backed North Central on Saturday at Sea Lake.
The Don Falvo-coached Sunraysia was determined to break a run of inter-league defeats in senior footy when it made the trek south.
Led by the play of Imperials key forward Jarrod McNally, Wentworth’s Cambell Davison, and South Mildura’s Jackson McEwen, Sunraysia won a hard-fought senior footy clash by 26 points.
The SFNL’s pace was always a concern for North Central coach Joel Donnan from Sea Lake Nandaly, and it proved to be.
It was Sunraysia’s ability to adapt to the blustery conditions which played a big part in building a 40-point lead by three quarter-time.
North Central fought back strongly to score four goals in the last term, but it was SFNL which celebrated a 15.14 (104) to 12.6 (78) victory.
Irymple star Nick Mee was captain of the Sunraysia line-up which had 12 players contest their first senior inter-league match.
Playing across half-back, Mee set up a lot of play, as did Irymple clubmate Zac Wandin.
Others to impress for Sunraysia included Merbein’s Daniel Tung and South Mildura’s Jakson McEwen.
North Central’s attack was led by Birchip Watchem’s Will Sheahan on four goals as Wedderburn’s Jordan Rosengren and Sea Lake Nandaly’s Will Simpson added two each.
A star ruckman for the unbeaten Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers, Ryan O’Sullivan was in superb form at the centre ball-ups and around the ground to earn North Central’s best player award.
Tigers’ clubmate Kane Donnan took a lot of marks at centre half-back as Rosengren, and Sea Lake Nandaly stars Jack Poulton at half-back and onballer Trent Donnan won plenty of contests.
Sunraysia 15.14 (104) d North Central 12.6 (78).
GOALS – Sunraysia: Josh Carmichael, Josh Dean, Finn Ellis-Castle, Zac Nelson 2, Jack Cottrell, Cambell Davison, Luke Hickey, Nick Mee, Ash Rowe, Daniel Tung, Brad Vallance. North Central: Will Sheahan 4, Jordan Rosengren, Will Simpson 2, Tom Campbell, Wade Donnan, Billy McInnes, John Summerhayes.
BEST – Sunraysia: Jarrod McNally, Cambell Davison, Jackson McEwen, Finn Ellis-Castle, Nick Mee, Jack Cottrell. North Central: Ryan O’Sullivan, Kane Donnan, Jordan Rosengren, Jack Poulton, Trent Donnan.
Sunraysia’s rising stars dominated the under-18s football match to win 14.9 (93) to 1.3 (9).
Mildura’s Cameron Kiel led the attack on four goals.
Boort’s Tom Potter goaled for North Central.
Best for Sunraysia were Robinvale Euston’s Ricardo Liparota, Merbein’s Harry Pinyon, Joseph Mezzatesta from Robinvale Euston, Mildura’s Jesse Gosman, and South Mildura’s Mason Fitzgerald.
Up against a squad which had several players who have shone at senior level, North Central’s best were Birchip Watchem’s Tadhg Lowry, Wedderburn’s Isaac Holt, Sea Lake Nandaly’s Flynn McGarry, and Beau Griffiths from Donald.
The open netball match ended in a 68-38 victory for Sunraysia.
Accurate goaling, slick passing in all thirds of the court were key factors in the win by the team in green and gold.
Closest result of the day was the 17-under netball where Sunraysia won 56-47 in a highly entertaining match between the league’s rising stars.
The North Central FNL’s home and away series resumes this Saturday.
All senior matches in the sixth round will start at 2.30pm.
It’s the clash of the unbeaten league leaders as Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers and the Wedderburn Redbacks meet at Sea Lake Community Centre.
Birchip Watchem tackle Wycheproof Narraport on the Bulls’ ground at Birchip’s George Cartwright Oval.
Donald and Charlton clash at Donald Recreation Reserve.
It’s the Magpies up against the Saints as Boort plays St Arnaud at Boort Park.
Standings in the North Central FNL senior footy competition:
Sea Lake Nandaly 410 per cent, 20 points; Wedderburn 159, 18; Birchip Watchem 164, 12; Boort 64, 8; Charlton 63, 8; Donald 68, 6; Wycheproof Narraport 74, 4; St Arnaud 43, 4.
Written by Nathan Dole