Bright breaks down as Panthers surge

Alpine Observer - - Classifieds -

Bright has squan­dered an op­por­tu­nity to re­main in the top four hunt, with a third quar­ter lapse cost­ing them vic­tory over league lead­ers Be­nalla.

The Moun­tain Men let a 19-point half­time lead slip against the All Blacks, who for the sec­ond time in three weeks came from be­hind to record vic­tory.

Be­nalla main­tained top spot af­ter sur­viv­ing the scare while a sec­ond straight loss and fourth de­feat of the year sees Bright drop to sev­enth ahead of a clash with sixth placed Greta (4-4) af­ter the bye.

De­spite Satur­day’s 10.8 (68) to 12.9 (81) re­sult, it was a much-im­proved per­for­mance for the home side af­ter they were belted by 148 points by Mi­lawa the pre­vi­ous week.

Bright’s at­tack on the foot­ball, and the op­po­si­tion, in the first half was the best it’s been all sea­son, while changes to their de­fen­sive struc­ture and Brody Ri­cardi’s move to half­back paid div­i­dends.

Bright kicked the first two goals of the game and four in the open­ing quar­ter but led by just three points at the first change af­ter Be­nalla added two late scores.

The vis­i­tors went up early in the sec­ond term be­fore Bright hit back with five of the next six ma­jors.

Jar­rod Hayse kicked four of his five goals in the sec­ond quar­ter while the ef­forts of Dy­lan Bur­sill, Jai Dyk­stra, Nick Le­bish and Sam Dal- bosco were in­flu­en­tial Bright be­ing ahead.

How­ever, the Moun­tain Men’s run dis­ap­peared in the third term and they strug­gled to get any­thing go­ing of­fen­sively as the All Blacks turned the ta­bles on the first half.

Be­nalla’s bet­ter play­ers also lifted but it was the de­ci­sion to move star on­baller Al Jacka for­ward that was the dif­fer­ence maker.

Jacka booted four of Be­nalla’s six, third quar­ter goals, to turn the deficit into a 19-point in ad­van­tage for the vis­i­tors.

Chad Martin’s long bomb mid­way through the fi­nal quar­ter re­duced the mar­gin to 12 points but Joel East­wood sealed the game for the All Blacks not long af­ter.

Coach Paul Dal­bosco was pleased with his side’s per­for­mance but knows it was a missed op­por­tu­nity.

“Af­ter the Mi­lawa loss I just wanted more out of the play­ers and I’m ex­tremely proud of the tack­ling pres­sure we brought for most of the day,” he said.

“We just lost a lit­tle bit of in­ten­sity for one quar­ter and our dis­posal and overuse of the ball in that third quar­ter re­ally killed us.

“Our fit­ness has prob­a­bly played a role in two pretty poor sec­ond halves in row too so that’s some­thing we’ve got to ad­dress.”

“They’re (Be­nalla) sit­ting on top of the lad­der and we were com­ing from a fairly long way back, but I saw signs of what we’re ca­pa­ble of and hope­fully it’s some­thing we can build upon.”

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