The reigning premiers are back in familiar territory.

Murrumbateman are back on top of the AFL Canberra 2023 Community Men’s Division Three ladder, after defeating Tuggeranong 19.8.122 to 5.4.34 at Kambah Oval on Saturday in Round 8.

The 88-point win for the Eagles meant they leapfrogged Yass after their upset loss to Goulburn on the weekend.

The powerful Eagles outfit gave the ladder cellar dwellers a harsh lesson in football, leading from start to finish on their way to a convincing win.

Mururmbateman kicked four goals in the first, six in the second, five in the third, and four in the last, while Tuggeranong could only manage five goals on their own the whole day.

Samuel Ryan-Baker was best on ground for the Eagles with his bag of eight goals, while Mitchell Evans, Jordan Flanagan, Jake Prince, Blake Collins, and Mitchell Lamb were also among Murrumbateman’s best.

Besides Ryan-Baker’s eyewatering haul, the Eagles evenly chipped in the goal department with nine individual goalkickers. Jordan Flanagan, Jake Prince, and Matthew Bell all kicked two each, while Mitch Lamb, Tom Dryburgh, Jason Swain, Ash Johnston and David Jean all registered a major each.

Murrumbateman Coach Mark Welsh said it is nice to be back on top of the ladder, but it won’t sway the team’s focus on the ultimate goal this season.

“We’re always prepping and concentrating on our own game, but Goulburn did us a real solid on the weekend getting over the top of Yass,” Welsh said.

 

 

“We’re just chipping away, we’re not really concerned about what other teams are doing, we just keep on plugging away at our game.

“We were really scrappy on the weekend, we were only able to put together one training session during that fortnight over the bye. It showed from the lack of getting our hands on the ball. But still were able to get a pretty solid win out of it.”

Welsh was pleased with his sides outlay up forward, kicking 19 goals and registering another monster score.

“The wind played a pretty vital role in the game, it was quite strong, but it was going end to end, so there was one massive scoring end,” he said.

“Even though we had nine individual goal scorers, Sam Ryan-Baker was just finding himself in open space all day. He had plenty of touches and a big bag of goals as well. He had a day out and it was pretty unstoppable on Saturday.”

Prior to the game on Saturday, the Tuggeranong Valley Australian Football Netball Club and the Murrumbateman Football Club paid their respects to the victims and families of the recent Hunter Valley bus crash.

 

 

Many involved in the incident were with the Singleton Roosters AFC, an AFL club in the Hunter Valley.

The tragic event has left a huge hole in the AFL community and thoughts remain with the victims and their loved ones at this most difficult of times.

“One of the boys from Tuggeranong actually played for the Singleton Roosters and knew pretty much everyone on the bus, so obviously, it was pretty raw and emotional for that particular player,” Welsh continued.

“Anything like that, as a Club, we’re right behind. It was probably a little bit more emotional because of the connection for that player. We got right behind him for the day and got on board with the minute’s silence.”

This Saturday, the Eagles face a massive challenge in the Goulburn Swans at Murrumbateman Park, with the opposition coming fresh off a win over previous ladder-leaders in the Roos.

“Goulburn will be coming off that win with a heap of confidence after a really good hit out against Yass. We’ll be preparing for a Goulburn team full of confidence and knowing the direction their going is the right one. We’ll be up against it, that’s for sure.

“We were very sloppy in our first game back after the bye, so we’ll have to fix that. We had a lot of dropped balls and some really inefficient disposals by foot and hand. Hopefully that will change this weekend.”

Ladder:

• MURRUMBATEMAN – 28 points – 322%

• Yass – 28 points – 306%

• Southern Cats – 20 points – 135%

• Goulburn Swans – 20 points – 114%

• Cootamundra –12 points – 115%

• Eastlake – 8 points – 43%

• Belconnen – 8 points – 40%

• Tuggeranong – 4 points – 31%

Tim Warren