Despite a massive scare from the fourth-placed Cootamundra, Murrumbateman recorded their ninth win of the season on Saturday at Clarke Oval, downing the Blues 9.7.61 to 8.7.55 in Round 10 of the AFL Canberra Community Men’s Division Three competition. The boys in navy blue from the west gave Yass a scare recently and they did the same to Murrumbateman on Saturday.


In wet and soggy conditions, Cootamundra took a two-point lead into the first change before Murrumbateman flexed their muscles in the second quarter, kicking five goals to one and took a 23-point lead to half-time.

The Blues weren’t done there however, as they kicked three goals to the Eagles two in the premiership quarter to reduce the margin to just 15 points at the final change. 


Cootamundra kept coming in the last quarter but a solitary goal to the Eagles was enough to see them to a 5-point win. 

The Eagles had six individual goalkickers against Cootamundra on Saturday with Jake Prince, Sam Ryan-Baker and Jon Leayr all kicking two each, and Pat Ryan, Mitchell Evans, and David Jean all registering one each. 

Benjamin Telford, Pat Ryan, Cameron Hourn, Chris Brennan, Kaiden Armstrong and Jake Prince were all among Murrumbateman’s best on Saturday. 

Eagles Coach Mark Welsh said the win against Cootamundra was an important one in tough conditions. 

“The ground was really heavy and wet, so we knew it was going to be a slog straightaway. Coota brings out that really tough, country footy that we enjoy playing,” Welsh said. 

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s probably one of the most physical games that I’ve been involved in. It was super physical and hard fought.

“Coota were fantastic, they played a really great, tough style of footy. We were a couple of rotations down for that trip, which was not ideal going to Coota with only two on the bench. But our boys stood up tall and gave it a fair crack. It was a great game of footy to watch. 

“We talked about how we would probably run out of legs being short two rotations, so we had to try and be smart and control the tempo of how the game was being played. We also had to be smart about how we were using the ball. 

“We always knew Coota was going to storm home like that, so it was really about trying to manage and stay in the game both physically and mentally.”

Murrumbateman are closing in on a top-two finish, with a win this weekend against Belconnen all but securing a top-two berth in season 2023 and a double chance in finals, which Welsh says will be an extra incentive for his group. 


“Before our next bye round, we want to make sure we finish this section between the mid-season bye and our next bye with a win to make sure that top-two finish is 100 percent locked away,” Welsh continued. 

“Belconnen are building nicely, they only lost to Yass by about eight goals, whereas in the earlier stages of the year it might’ve been 100 points. They’re definitely getting much better. 

“We’ve got a really strong connection with Belconnen. Myself and a lot of our players all came from there, so we know the boys and always enjoy playing them. 

“They’re definitely improving and getting much stronger each week. On a smaller ground at Murrumbateman we probably can’t use our fitness and spread as well as we can on the bigger grounds. 

“I think it will be tighter again, they’ll bring their strong Belconnen Magpies game that they always do. We’re looking forward to it.”


The Eagles will take on the sixth-placed Belconnen this Saturday, July 8th, at Murrumbateman Park from 2pm in Round 11 action. 



  • Yass – 36 points – 342%
  • Mururmbateman – 36 points – 270%
  • Southern Cats – 24 points – 144%
  • Goulburn Swans – 24 points – 130%
  • Cootamundra – 16 points – 119%
  • Belconnen – 12 points – 46%
  • Eastlake – 8 points – 37%
  • Tuggeranong – 4 points – 27%


Tim Warren