Wodonga Raiders so proud of their latest recruit
WODONGA Raiders recruit Duncan Proud made an inspired debut as his new team trounced North Albury by 55 points at Birallee Park on Saturday.
Proud, who has moved to the Border through employment, was rock solid in defence which allowed Dean Heta to push into attack and terrorise the Hopper defence.
The victory catapulted the Raiders into third position on the Ovens and Murray ladder and put Daryn Cresswell’s line-up in the box seat to secure the double chance.
Cresswell was stoked with the way his players responded after being challenged in the first quarter.
“We hadn’t beaten a top three side before today so that’s really pleasing,” Cresswell said.
“I would say it’s our most consistent performance of the season.
“We moved the footy really well and got the rewards even though we wasted some opportunities.”
Recruited from Frankston Bombers, Proud was allowed to roam in defence with his quick hands and ability to read the play providing a springboard for many attacking raids.
Todd Grayson, Hayden and Dean Heta and Sam Murray were also dominant as the Raiders broke the match open with five goals in 15 minutes at the start of the second quarter.
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Cresswell said Proud would give the Raiders added flexibility.
“We was good,” he said.
“As I said last week, he fell into our lap moving here with work.
North Albury were dealt two massive blows before the first bounce with ruckman Adam Elias and the silky Kris Holman withdrawing from the selected side due to injury.
The absence of Elias allowed Raiders’ man-mountain Hayden Heta to control the centre bounces with Nathan Hunter providing good support.
Defenders Rory Feltwell and Hunter Lloyd were solid for North Albury while Liam Butler restricted Raider danger-man Ross Tungatalum to three majors.
The news will only get better for Cresswell after this weekend’s general bye with full-forward Jake Goldsmith to return from a finger injury and Northern Territory recruit Dion Mankura to debut.
Raiders captain Jack Di Mizio said there was genuine belief in the camp.
“It was a big turnaround from when we played North Albury earlier in the season,” he said.
“We are in the top three and we want to stay there.”
Article courtesy of the Border Mail