Two wins from two games, but plenty of improvement left for Strathdale, says coach

FIVE different scorers have propelled Strathdale to a 5-1 win over Moama-Echuca Border Raiders in BASL men’s championship weekend action.

The triumph at Beischer No. 1 has established the Blues in second place on the league ladder underneath a similarly undefeated Tatura, which defeated Golden City 6-0.

While happy to have secured two early season wins from as many games, Blues coach Jon Bryers felt his side had plenty of scope for improvement.

“It was an okay win – we haven’t had the greatest start to the year, but we are onwards and upwards,” a measured Bryden said.

“We’ve got about six new players in, so we are just trying to get everyone integrated into the team to be honest.

“But two wins is two wins, it’s a lot better start to the year than we had last year. We had two draws after the first two games last year.

“But the hard work stars now with a few tougher sides coming up.”

Bryers had little hesitation in nominating Tatura as the team to beat in season 2018, ahead of 2017 championship winners Eaglehawk and a strengthened Shepparton United.

The Blues coach praised the early good form of Bendigo City FC recruit Eh Soo Seven, whose goal from a penalty against the Border Raiders was his third score for the season.

“We’ve had a couple of other new young guys in Sam Farr and Ryan Clegg, who have stepped up as well,” he said.

“They are probably the three standouts so far.

“Finals are our aim, we definitely think we have the squad to do it – our reserves haven’t lost a game for nearly two years, so we think we have got the depth to push for finals.”

Declan McNamara, Dean Vlaeminck, Aaron Mertens and Matthew Gallagher were the other goal scorers for Strathdale.

The Blues continue their season this Sunday against Spring Gully, which was unable to repeat its first-up win in a 5-1 loss to Eaglehawk.

Five individual goal scorers, including skipper Greg Thomas, Daniel Kelly, Samuel Kerrins, Brent Hamblin and Chris Hopley, contributed to the scoreline for the Hawks, who had to settle for a draw in round one.

IN-FORM: Daniel Kelly was one of five individual goal scorers in Eaglehawk's 5-1 win over Spring Gully United on Sunday.

IN-FORM: Daniel Kelly was one of five individual goal scorers in Eaglehawk's 5-1 win over Spring Gully United on Sunday.

Last season’s grand final winners Shepparton South added to Epsom’s poor start to the season with a 3-0 win at McEwen Reseve.

Willie Sauiluma, Ashish Sahayam and Hussein Sumali each contributed one goal in South’s first win for the season.

The loss sent the Scorpions tumbling to 10th place on the ladder.

A hat-trick to Fabrice Ebe helped Shepparton United to a 5-1 win over Shepparton, while recruit Lewis Coyle continued to shine in Tatura’s 6-0 win over Golden City with three goals of his own.

Coyle, who has joined the Ibises from Goulburn Valley Suns, and Ebe lead the goal scorers table after two rounds with four apiece.

Colts United had the bye and will return to action this Sunday against Epsom at Strathfieldsaye.

In youth championship games, Joshua Opie scored a hat-trick for Spring Gully in a 9-0 win against Eaglehawk, Pa Naing Paw contributed a double in Epsom’s 5-1 victory over Shepparton South, Strathdale and Moama-Echuca drew 1-1, Shepparton United beat Shepparton 10-1 and Tatura defeated Golden City 5-1.