Border Mail Round 6 – Preview
AARON Baker concedes Holbrook are fast running out of lives to win a spot in the Hume league finals race.
After making finals last season the Brookers were handed a tough draw and have played all of last years finalists in the opening rounds.
Baker said while the Brookers now faced an uphill battle to make finals there was still plenty of time to turn around their season.
“We have had a couple of close losses and have had a few injuries which has exposed our lack of depth and put us on the back foot.
“Its been good though because we have played a few of the young blokes and have had a lot more first gamers this year compared to the previous year.
“But it looks like being another tight competition again.”
Baker said recruits Andrew and Brendan Dess had slotted well into the side.
Andrew has booted 15 goals to sit second on the goalkicking table behind Adam Prior on 18.
“Andrew has impressed and gives us a big marking target deep in attack,” he said.
“I don’t think Holbrook has had a big power forward since probably Michael Lamb was playing.
“Andrew and Brendan are the main reason why I’m playing again this year.
“We have been trying to play together for 10-years and its finally come to fruition.
“They are my best mates and I played alongside Brendan when Tallangatta won the flag 2015.”
Baker has found himself in a different role this season, switching from the ruck to defence.
Developing tall Randal Taylor has been playing prominently in the ruck.
With Baker spending a lot of time at fullback including playing on Damian Cupido in the opening round.
“I’ve rucked my whole career including last year where I was in there every minute of every game,” he said.
“But this year we put a first gamer in the ruck because we didn’t have anyone to play on Cupido.
“He got one kick up to three-quarter time and I got put in the ruck in the last quarter and he bobbed up with 3.3 and won the game for them.
“I also played fullback against Brock-Burrum and kept Josh Spencer to one goal.
“But then against Culcairn and Osborne I was back in the ruck.”
Osborne defender Duncan McMaster is waiting to find out the severity of his shoulder injury.
McMaster was hurt during Hume’s thrilling inter-league victory over Farrer at Osborne last weekend and will see a doctor in coming days.
“He’s had an X-ray and it looks like there is a small fracture in his shoulder blade,” coach Matt Rava said.
“Until he sees a doctor we don’t know the extend of it.
“It could be a couple of weeks or it could be eight.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”
The injury is another setback for Osborne who lost defender Andrew Clarke with a ruptured hamstring earlier in the season.
“He’s going to be out for a while, it could be 12 weeks,” Rava said.
“It’s disappointing because he did a lot of work to get back from his knee injury.
“The positive is it will give another young player a chance.”
Osborne host big improver Lockhart at Osborne on Saturday.
Saturday, May 25
Culcairn v Murray Magpies
Henty v CDHBU
Holbrook v Billabong Crows
Jindera v Howlong
Osborne v Lockhart
(The Border Mail)
(Former Brock-Burrum coach)
(Holbrook life member)
YOUNG GUN INJURED
Former Rand-Walbundrie-Walla youngster Mitch Thomas will miss the rest of the season.
Thomas injured his knee in the opening quarter of his debut for North Albury against Wangaratta Rovers earlier this month with scans revealing he had sustained an ACL injury.
PRICE ISN’T RIGHT
Henty was forced to make a last-minute change before its clash with Brock-Burrum when coach Joel Price hurt his hamstring in the warm-up.
He was replaced in the side by Aaron Meyers who had played a full match in the reserves.
The Swampies have received a boost with youngster Jono Male returning to the club from Wodonga Raiders.
The Hume league’s key forwards are finding it tough going this season.
After five rounds, Culcairn’s Adam Prior leads the way with only 18, three clear of Holbrook’s Andrew Dess.
Henty’s Damian Cupido and Rand-Walbundrie-Walla coach Myles Aalbers are next on 14.
The windy conditions and tight competition could be reasons why the tallies are considerably lower than last season when Cupido and Castles reached the century.
It’s a completely different story in the Tallangatta league though with Castles (Yackandandah) and Ricky Whitehead (Chiltern) having kicked 50 already.