Sport

Vital win at home - ALEX MITCHELL

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July 18, 2017

WASTEFUL kicking in front of goal didn’t stop Rochester from taking an important win against Shepparton United at Moon Oval on Saturday.

Locked in a battle for a position in the 2017 Goulburn Valley League finals, the Tigers couldn’t afford to drop a game to the ninth-placed Demons, who entered the game with just a 3-9 record.

And despite some wayward kicking, including 5.10 in the in the third quarter, they weren’t in any danger throughout the second half on their way to an 81-point smashing.

With Echuca’s loss to Benalla, the Tigers are now a game and percentage ahead of the Murray Bombers in the race for sixth position on the ladder, but have the more difficult draw in the back half of the season.

‘‘It’s pretty tight from fourth to seventh, there’s a few teams there where it could go either way,’’ Rochester coach James Flaherty said.

‘‘But (playing finals) is up to us now, and that is only a good thing.’’

Flaherty saw plenty of improvement in the performance from last weekend’s loss to Seymour where a slow start killed the Tigers.

‘‘Shepparton started really well, it took 15 minutes for us to switch on but after that we felt we controlled the game,’’ he said.

‘‘To be honest, we still didn’t start well but we finished a lot better than we started which was similar to last week.

‘‘Our ball movement helped us and we gave our forwards plenty more opportunities with inside 50s.’’

Rochester made the play early but couldn’t build a lead in the first quarter thanks to a 2.7 return. The Demons were far more efficient at the other end with 3.1 to have the scores tied.

But it got on top in the second quarter with four goals to two, the Tigers 17 points up at the main break.

Things picked up in the third quarter with 15 scoring shots to one, the 5.10 return the only thing stopping them from having an even bigger lead than the 51-point buffer.

But the game was won and the Tigers celebrated with another five goals in the last to take the win 16.25 (121) to 6.4 (40).

With the game still in the balance at half-time, they tightened right up defensively to only allow 1.3 in the second half. The Tigers had 11 of its 21 players kick a goal in a brilliant showing of their spread of goakickers, Jarod Bacon continuing his great form to again lead the way with three.

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