SOUTH Colac has won the battle of Colac district football’s injury-struck teams.
The Roos held off Simpson to claim a valuable away victory 11.10 (76) to 10.5 (65) in a match in which both teams were missing key players.
Simpson coach Jason Cartwright made a successful return to the field from an ankle injury, booting three goals at full forward but Simon Schrama, Corey Baulch and Stephen McCallum failed to pass fitness tests.
South Colac’s Jordan Murrihy also got his first full game under his belt for his new club, along with coach Stephen Hammond who played his first game for the season in the absence of Alex Broomfield, Mick Baker and Zac Hammond.
Assistant coach Clay Brewer is still sidelined.
Simpson stuck with South Colac for four quarters as both teams had chances to steal or seal the match late in the fourth term.
“If you add up the scoring shots we should have won by four or five goals, but the crowd said it was a good game to watch,” Hammond said.
“They had chances and we had them as well but I think we got in first for the ball, it was a dogfight, there were a heap of ball-ups,” he said.
Roo Jake O’Dwyer continued a stand-out season while Deon Oborne fought hard to keep Cartwright quiet.
Up the other end Tiger Jamie Barry earnt praise keeping Ben Cox to two goals, allowing Justin Mooney, who finished with a game-high four majors, plenty of chances to crumb and kick goals.
Cartwright was upbeat post-match despite his team copping its second loss in three weeks.
“It was a good game of footy, we had our chances but stuffed around with it a little too much, the game itself had massive momentum swings,” he said.
“But I thought we played really well and that’s without a couple of key players, if we can get the right mix I think we can trouble anyone.”
Nathan Harding, thumb, and David Weel, knee, added to the Tigers’ injury concerns during the clash.
“Our intensity was a lot better this week and everyone had a red-hot crack, we lost a couple of blokes to injury which left us short on the bench and I reckon we ran out of legs a bit,” Cartwright said.
Imperials fire but fail to catch Apollo Bay
COLAC Imperials almost secured their second come-from-behind victory in as many weeks before a late-game downpour halted their momentum.
Apollo Bay held off to win 6.11 (47) to 6.5 (41) and remain one of just two unbeaten teams.
The Hawks booted four of the first five goals in the opening term to set up the biggest margin of the day.
Apollo Bay wingman Chris Bradshaw provided plenty of run across Western Oval while Damian Flanders played a part in a stack of stoppage clearances.
Cats Simon Patterson and Ben Shaw, who each booted two goals, and teammates chipped away at the scoreline and drew within a goal with their sixth goal in the final term.
Eagles demonstrate extent of improvement
WESTERN Eagles have shown how much improvement they have made this pre-season, falling just three goals short against the reigning premier Birregurra 9.5 (59) to 12.16 (88).
The result was a stark contrast to the last time the teams met in June last year when the Saints trounced the Eagles by 33 goals – a game that featured 61 scoring shots to one.
The Eagles won the first quarter and the second half, but an eight-goal-to-one second term all but sank the underdogs’ hopes of an upset victory.
Hungry Lions claim second big scalp
FORREST has claimed its second big scalp of the season, proving it had lost none of the excitement and hard edge that helped it surge up the ladder.
The Lions, fielding nine players new to the club in 2012, outmuscled Lorne by five goals at a wet Forrest Recreation Reserve.
Lorne led by two points after a perplexing first half – in which two of the eight goals were to the wind-assisted end – before Forrest surged to record a 11.7 (73) to 6.7 (43) win.
Alvie kick-starts season with win to remember
ALVIE has kick-started its season with a win to remember against Otway Districts.
The young Swans surged early and held firm to post their first win of the season, a 12.8 (80) to 7.9 (51) win at Gellibrand Recreation Reserve.
Chris Hickey kicked four goals – including three before half time – and Tom McCrickard kicked two as the visitors turned a 17-point half-time lead into victory.
For full reviews see the current issue of the Colac Herald.