Sport

McCormack’s move from mid-field a winner

By Patrick Tansey

In Cobram’s big win against Congupna last weekend, one man stood above the rest.

Darcy McCormack, 22, was a menace in attack for the Tigers and a thorn in the side of the Road, bagging seven goals, his biggest haul in a senior game.

What makes the feats all the more impressive is the fact he did not play in the forward line until halfway through last season.

‘‘I asked (coach) Josh Noonan if I could have a crack in the forward line and he eventually decided to throw me forward and I ended up going okay and I’m still playing there now,’’ McCormack said.

With the Tigers struggling in attack last season, McCormack’s positional change helped breathe new life into their potency and he finished with 30 goals in just half a season, a handy return for a player who could have been wasted at half-back.

If you watch the small forward play, he is danger personified.

Every time the ball comes in his area spectators expect something good to happen and he reads the play quicker than most.

On top of his footy smarts, he has a lethal left foot and is capable of kicking big-time goals, such as the one he produced deep in the final quarter from the boundary line in Cobram’s memorable round one win against Barooga.

While seven is the most he has kicked in a senior game, it is not the most he has ever bagged.

Playing against Tocumwal in the thirds, McCormack went on a rampage to kick 10 goals in the first half.

Sadly, the chance to finish with 20 was destroyed when he tore his quadriceps off the bone on his kicking leg.

McCormack is a second-year apprentice at Avery Cabinets.

He moved to Cobram at 10 from Carngham-Linton after visiting the Murray River on holidays.

He had a visit from then-fourths coach Shane Weeks, who invited him to play for the Tigers.

The rest is history and for now his immediate aim is to help the Tigers play finals for the first time in a few seasons.

‘‘It’s easily the best team I’ve played in since I’ve been playing seniors here,’’ McCormack said.

‘‘It’s helped that a lot of the good local kids are back and playing well.’’

With 21 goals already on the board, McCormack is well on track to smash his previous best of 30 in his first full season playing in attack.

The Tigers take on Rumbalara today in a tough clash.

Vaasili Tuifao has dominated for Rumba with 24 goals for the season and, with Levi Power back on deck in recent weeks, Kane Atkinson’s charges have more confidence than ever.

●A refreshed Deniliquin unit could pose a challenge for Mulwala today.

The Rams have struggled this year and are yet to win a game, but after having two weekends off in a row could have easily hit the reset button.

Adrian Pappin’s inclusion will provide a big target up forward at Hardinge St Oval, but up the other end will be attacking supremo Ash Froud.

The Lions’ spearhead snared five goals last week and is warming up into the season nicely.

●Corey Hickford continues to impress for Katandra, booting another three goals last week to take his season tally to 15.

The Kats will have to lift in order to defeat Numurkah today, but will give it their all.

The Blues must keep pressure on the top sides in order to remain within striking distance of a top-two finish and Nathan Hicks (20 goals) will be tough to contain.

●Moama’s best football is still in front of it this season.

The Magpies have been inconsistent to start the year, but will be confident in their ability to take down Congupna at Moama Recreation Reserve today.

Sam Ferguson, Callum Whitehead and Jimmy Boyer were outstanding for The Road last week, but more troops will need to lift around them today.

●The drones of the Goulburn Valley will be safe for at least a few hours this afternoon.

Central Park plays host to an Eagles derby today as Shepparton East and Echuca United do battle for the first time this season.

Matt Rendina is in fine form for East and will look to continue performing well against a depleted United unit.

Jordan Florance, Zach Mihocek, Sam Toulmin and Nathan Bottomley are all unlikely starters for the fixture.

●Tom Cooper returned to Tungamah’s ranks with a bang last week, snaring four goals in a 49-point loss.

Bodhi Butts has been in outstanding touch, but will need much more help if the Bears are going to defeat powerhouse Nathalia today.

The Purples continue to dominate clashes at will, with Liam Evans (23 goals) and Brodie Ross (21) crucial.

— with Tyler Maher