KYABRAM’S fantastic winning GVL streak is still intact — but only just — after being pushed all the way by the visiting Euroa under lights at Kyabram on Saturday night.
The Bombers scraped home by 11 points — 10.5 to 8.6 — after giving starts in three of the four quarters in a game ruined by over-umpiring and riddled with basic football errors.
Euroa tried hard to run the Bombers ragged and had 19 more free kicks than the home side, but Paul Newman’s boys were still good enough to dig deep to get the win.
Kyabram gave Euroa three goals start in the first term and with Kayne Pettifer unsighted for most of the game it was left to Kyle Mueller to do the finishing work around goals for the Bombers.
He obliged with five goals in another opportunist’s game, which he now produces almost every week.
Key forward Brad Mangan did some good work, particularly in the first half, but for the greater part of the game Euroa’s defence, led by Adam Tarrant, had the Kyabram forwards under control apart from Mueller.
Likewise Kyabram’s defence, led by Tom Holman, Lachie Smith, Sam Sheldon and Jason Morgan, was able to restrict Euroa to eight goals.
The Bombers won the game with one productive quarter — the second — in which they kicked six unanswered goals to take a 28-point lead into the long interval.
When Pettifer, Axel Child, Liam Barrett, Mick Mattingly and Mueller slotted goals — and Euroa was kept scoreless — the game looked headed for a blow-out result.
But Euroa was far from done and fought grimly to get back into the game with the first three goals of the third term. And they did have chances in the last term to get within a kick but didn’t take them.
Apart from Mueller, and another of the team’s smaller men in Liam Ogden, the Bombers got full blooded efforts from Brad Edwards while another of the onballers, Brad Whitford, was good again.
Zac Norris and Adam Lovison rucked manfully against bigger bodied rivals and Nathalia recruit Bailey Bell showed he can find the ball in his senior debut and can only get better.
Nick Coulstock and Liam Barrett also did a lot of good work for the winners.
But it was not one of Kyabram’s most impressive efforts in its now 44-game winning streak and the focus will shift to another danger game for the Bombers this week when they travel to meet another undefeated side, Benalla.
■ REIGNING premiers Kyabram was overrun in the second half by its grand final rival from last season.
In a spirited clash the young Bombers had their nose in front in the first half but the visitors blew the game wide open with a four-goal third term while keeping the home side scoreless.
It should be a good learning curve for the Bombers who actually had two more scoring shots but lacked a dominant forward.
Billy Ryan was a reliable target early in attack but he had injury problems and spent a lot of time on the bench.
Tough defender Locky Dillon was as good as any of his teammates for four quarters and got a lot of support from Josh Wild.
Onballers in ruckman Kyle Fitzgerald, Cade Mueller, Josh Dillon, Dom Watt and Connor Cowley all battled hard as did skipper Tom Curnow.
Fitzgerald shouldered the rucking duties for most of the four quarters in a solid display.
With a huge turnover of players from last season’s premiership side there was a lot of merit in Kyabram’s effort against a quality rival and a top flag contender again.
■ KYABRAM thirds produced one good quarter of football, which was enough to get them the four premiership points.
The Bombers kicked four unanswered goals in the second term which set up a 28-point win — 7.11 to 3.8 — in the trying conditions.
The Bombers had good players in Daniel Lawson and Jarvis Waasdorp through half back and midfield while Sam Barbagallo and Tom Burnett also showed out along with Cooper Vick and Jacob Liversidge.
Ruckmen Ben Napier and Sam Langley also did a lot of telling work in the hard-earned win.