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Bombers’ brutal contest | Ferntree Gully Star Mail

Bombers’ brutal contest | Ferntree Gully Star Mail

Bombers’ brutal contest | Ferntree Gully Star Mail
Adrian Russo is pumped after getting the Bombers their first goal of the game. 341626 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Marcus Uhe

In a thumping 83-point win over Officer in Outer East’s Division One competition, Emerald saw the fruits of a pointed focus on goal kicking accuracy over the break.

Prior to Saturday’s contest, the Bombers had only kicked more goals than behinds twice this season, with four separate instances of 21 behinds.

Against Officer, in some of the windiest conditions you’re likely to see, they managed a remarkable 22.4, thanks in-part to seven from Callum White and four to Casey VFL premiership captain and brother, Mitch.

Coach Sean Clearihan said that there was a methodical and tactical focus on where things had been coming unstuck, and made the most of the wisdom provided by a veteran.

“We were having a look at what we were doing and we were practising pretty hard, and it came off on Saturday,” Clearihan said.

“A lot of the time they weren’t missing by much, it was slightly.

“Dave (Johnson) and I have been working with the forwards on where they’ve been having their shots, seeing where they’ve been finishing with their kicking, and they’ve only been a fraction out.

“They’ve been striking the ball really well, it was just a matter of time before they got it right.

“It wasn’t miss-kicks but it was about where their bodies were at or maybe their head, a fraction.”

After an even first half in which they took an 11-point lead into the long break, the Bombers put their foot down in third quarter where they kicked a remarkable 12 goals and held the home side scoreless.

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Missing its two leading goal-kickers in Mark Seedsman and Brent Moloney, Officer did not possess the weaponry to match the high-flying Bombers, who remain undefeated at the top of the table.

For Clearihan, the ability to stick to structures and the commitment to hard work on the track is fuelling the undefeated run.

Two players to have benefited significantly from a focussed training program are midfielder Josh Rich and defender, Dale Karacsonyi.

“Josh last year came back from a knee reconstruction late in the year, then he put in a massive preseason to work on his strengths, and that’s why he’s been playing so well,” the coach said.

“He’s a great ball reader.

“With ‘Carrots’ (Karacsonyi) we always played him in the midfield, but we put him on the halfback flank and he’s relished that challenge.

“He’s a hard trainer and he’s always doing his work behinds the scenes.

“Josh is working really hard on his feet and hands and the same with (Karacsonyi), and they’re getting a lot of support from the boys around them.

“There’s nothing special about it, they’re just prepared to work hard behind the scenes which has been fantastic for them.”

It’s that attitude and approach that’s ensuring that will keep them on the straight-and-narrow.

“You can’t always expect them to be playing at 110 per cent, there’s always going to be days where you’ve got to scratch and bite to win.

“But as long as you’re working through that and understanding it and sticking to the structures, we’ll be right.

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“We’ve just got a bit of a break on it at the moment, but you drop a couple and all of a sudden you’re back in the field again.

“There’s not much at all between all the sides at all; if you’re not on your game, you’ll get rolled.”

Berwick Springs have now won three on the bounce after taking care of Hallam by 41 points.

While the Hawks had one of their best displays of football to date in the competition, they were no match for the Titans, who raced out to an early lead and never looked back in a seesawing contest, finishing 6.7 43 to 11.18 84.

The visitors kicked the first six of the contest to lead by 43 at the first break, but the Hawks managed to hold them in-check from that point onwards in the game.

Sparked by the inclusion of debutant Josiah Kyle, Hallam even outscored Berwick Springs from quarter time onwards.

Neither team could kick a goal when contending with the wind until the last quarter, where the Titans managed just one.

Hallam deployed Harry Sharlassian to keep Hayden Stagg in-check, while Adem Nekic made a successful return from injury, despite copping another knock.

“He puts his head over the footy,” Hallam coach Scott Kerr said.

“He copped one early, split his lip open and had to go off and get that stitched up after the game.”

In halving the result from the corresponding contest in round one, Kerr believes there were plenty of positives for his side to extract from the outcome.

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“Every week is a new challenge,” he said.

“On the weekend I said, ‘externally we’ve lost this game of footy but internally we won a lot today’.

“We ticked off our little wins that we wanted to achieve, and they are the improvements.

“If we do that again next week against Emerald, just continue to improve and set ourselves after the bye to set ourselves up for a first win against Belgrave, that should be pretty realistic and something everyone would be expecting us to try and do, including Belgrave.”

For the Titans, midfielder Daniel Ousley starred in just his second outing of the season, as did the Nelson brothers, with Tom kicking two and Aiden one.

Braydn Hoewel kicked three, while Ty Ellison was held to just one.

At Healesville, a tight contest saw Seville sneak home by 15 points.

Leading by 46 points a the final break, a fast finishing Healesville kicked 5.7 in the last quarter to give themselves a chance at a remarkable comeback win, but ultimately fell short.

They will be rueing their inaccuracy in front of goal, kicking a costly 7.14 to Seville’s 11.5.

  • June 24, 2023