United stands up for finals run

By Riverine Herald

ECHUCA United’s hunt for a spot in the eight may not be unfounded after the club’s second consecutive win.

Saturday’s clutch five point win over Tungamah away proves the Eagles are not just all talk, and has solidified their spot in the middle of the Murray Football League ladder.

But the Eagles will have to wait once again to show their mettle, as the league takes a collective bye for interleague this weekend.

United coach Guy Campbell said his team made it harder than it needed to be in securing the win.

‘‘It was pretty hard fought by both sides,’’ he said. ‘‘It was a credit to Tungamah too, throughout the year they will be hard to beat.

‘‘We had our chances to really blow the game out at times, but we chose to make it a close one,’’ he said.

Letting the home side impose their style of footy in tricky conditions and a swirling breeze made life difficult for the Eagles, who found themselves trailing by 11 at the first quarter, and by seven at half time.

‘‘They really put up a challenge, but we took the lead at the final change playing I think only about a quarter and a half of footy. So doing that and still winning is good for us.

‘‘What we’ve taken away is although it was very physical, they were able to stand up and show strength but still play the game and not get sucked into anything we didn’t need to,’’ Campbell said.

Campbell credited his backline, in particular James Curnow and Jeremy Hartigan for their relentless work contesting the ball and keeping the scoreline down.

The next challenge for United is to remain fit and focused during the week off, and to be ready for the challenge of Tongala.

‘‘We’ll take the week off for what it is, and we’ll gain a bit more in the local derby as they will too no doubt.

‘‘I’m confident that we’ll do well and that we’ve got it if everyone plays well. We defend well and they kick well so we’ll see — it’ll be an interesting game,’’ he said.

Campbell said there will be a testing six week period after the interleague break with some ‘‘winnable’’ games in amongst those.

He said if the side can come out the other side of that period with more wins than losses, they will be in good stead.

‘‘We also had one of our young blokes Zak Hard on the bench for the game. Unfortunately it was one of those games where he didn’t get to take the field . . . but if he can keep his dander up and keep playing well he’ll definitely get the game time,’’ he said.