HAWKS SOAR

Ba­rooga into the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal

The Cobram Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

FACE SAYS IT ALL: Ba­rooga’s Lu­cas Ol­son could not keep the grin off his face af­ter his side crushed Moama at the week­end to set up a pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against Nathalia this week­end.

Ba­rooga se­niors surged to a com­fort­able win in their semi­fi­nal against Moama on the week­end.

Moama set out to claim the Nu­murkah ground as their own but the the Hawks were hav­ing none of that and fought back strongly to re­assert their su­pe­ri­or­ity, win­ning 114 to 66.

Co-coach James Hazel­man said the team was now in a very ex­cit­ing po­si­tion.

‘‘The op­por­tu­nity awaits us,’’ Hazel­man said.

‘‘Men­tally we were able to find a way on the week­end — al­though we didn’t start very well,’’ he said.

‘‘They took their chances early and we missed a cou­ple, so at quar­ter time we shifted things around a bit.’’

Those team changes ob­vi­ously paid off, with Ba­rooga ham­mer­ing home a bar­rage of goals in the se­cond term while the Mag­pies strug­gled to score and only man­aged a sin­gle ma­jor for the whole term.

‘‘That’s a big strength of ours, be­ing able to shift play­ers around into dif­fer­ent po­si­tions,’’ Hazel­man said.

‘‘It was very pleas­ing to fin­ish the way we did — it was a very good game of foot­ball,’’ he said.

‘‘Brodie A’Vard in the ruck has been cru­cial — he has played so well in these fi­nals and given our boys first use which goes a long way to­wards win­ning the game.

‘‘I thought we were pretty dom­i­nant with our on­ballers and Brodie.’’

Hazel­man is al­ready con­tem­plat­ing the next game, against Nathalia in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

‘‘I think they are the hard­est side to beat,’’ he said.

‘‘We are go­ing to have our work cut out — there’s no doubt about that.

‘‘The group’s full of con­fi­dence at the mo­ment but no doubt it’s go­ing to be very tough.’’

Hazel­man said the Pur­ples had a few play­ers the Hawks would need to con­tain in or­der to con­trol the play.

He said Nathalia had been the best side over the past decade or so and should not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

‘‘They’re a re­ally hard club to beat — and a very proud club, too.’’

● The MFL pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal will see Ba­rooga and Nathalia go head-on at Scott Recre­ation Re­serve in Co­bram from 2.10 pm on Satur­day.

Photo: LUKE HEMER

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