THE desire to win tomorrow’s Coastal Cup still burns for players from Apollo Bay and Lorne football clubs.
The Hawks will enter the Stribling Reserve clash confidently but well aware that past results have failed to work in their favour.
The Hawks have prevailed just once during the teams’ five encounters over the past three years – and that was a thrilling two-point upset under then coach Sean Permezel.
The Dolphins have won the other four times by a whopping average of 92.3 points, but young Hawk Karl McSparron, said the rivalry was still strong between the Hawks and Dolphins, who played off in the 2003 and 2004 grand finals.
“There’s definitely still a rivalry, being the two teams on the coast you want to keep it going,” he said.
“This weekend’s game should be pretty close, they’ve had the wood over us the last couple of years.
“We got it back when Perma was coach but they probably had it for the past three years.”
McSparron, who has been playing senior football with the Hawks since 2005, is expecting a much closer encounter this time around.
“A lot has changed around our footy club this year, the culture of the club has changed,” he said.
“It was going a bit downhill last year but everything’s going well this year, we’re getting more people around doing off-field stuff as well.
“They’ve changed a bit as well though – Luke Norton is going pretty well after coming back from the BFL and Ryan Evans and Dan Hermans are pretty handy.
“I think shutting down their key forwards and run from on the ball will be important.”
McSparron will miss tomorrow’s clash with a hamstring strain, while the Dolphins were uncertain whether ruckman Dan Hermans would return after missing last round’s narrow win against Alvie.
Lorne coach Drew Steven said Chris Tipping and Steve Baranksi were “anticipated to be back this week”.
Suspensions deliver blow to Eagles
WESTERN Eagles’ best chance for a breakthrough victory this weekend against Otway Districts has suffered a major blow with the suspension of two key players.
Mobile forward Jake Reed, who has 11 goals to his name, this week failed in his bid to have the Colac district football tribunal overturn his one-game ban for swearing.
He will join playing coach Marc Carson on the sidelines. Carson accepted a one-match set penalty for striking during the Western Eagles-Colac Imperials clash.
But there was good news for the Irrewillipe club, with the tribunal clearing midfield recruit Rhys Burke for a sling tackle which left Imps tall Andrew Scott unconscious and two other Imps players on report – Nic Boyd and a promoted under-17 player – have had their hearings delayed until next week.
Otway Districts coach Adam Harris and midfielder Leigh Mahoney are set to return for the Demons.
Imperials plan late charge for finals
COLAC Imperials hope to emerge from a tough five weeks in a position to make a charge for finals.
The Cats travel to Simpson tomorrow for the first of five matches which could make or break their season.
Challenges against flag favourite Forrest, Lorne, South Colac and Birregurra follow.
Coach Craig Williams said he hadn’t set a win-loss target for the period but he hoped the finals would remain a possibility by July.
Swans present danger game for South Colac
SOUTH Colac will approach tomorrow’s match against Alvie as a “danger game”.
The Roos enter the clash as heavy favourites after six key ins led the team to a 50-point win against Birregurra, but Roos coach Stephen Hammond said he was still wary of the young Swans.
Alvie has turned heads during the past fortnight losing to finals fancies Lorne and Forrest by six points or less.
“They’re small, fast and confident at the moment, we’ve got to be on our game or we’ll get rolled,” Hammond said.
Rebounding Forrest wants to continue form
FORREST hopes to continue its return to form after bouncing back from a narrow win last round.
The Lions put in one of their best performances against Apollo Bay last round, just seven days after a thrilling victory against Alvie.
Forrest coach Justin Bliss said he hoped his team would carry that form into tomorrow’s clash against Irrewarra-Beeac.