Strong sec­ond term sinks Bloods

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

A sec­ond quar­ter fade-out proved the dif­fer­ence on Satur­day, when Tocumwal went down to Strathmerton by 21 points in round 10 of the Picola League.

It was a sea­son defin­ing game for the Bloods, who were play­ing to strengthen claims for a fi­nals spot and the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete to gain a dou­ble chance.

The first quar­ter was a real arm wres­tle with both teams show­ing nerves by miss­ing some get­table scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The Dogs led by six points at the first change be­fore dom­i­nat­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The sec­ond stanza proved to be the turn­ing point for the game with Strathmerton tak­ing com­mand, kick­ing 5.4 to the Bloods’ soli­tary goal to take a 22 point lead into the sec­ond half.

The sec­ond half was a beauty with Strathmerton look­ing to be in con­trol.

But an un­der­manned Toc. side never gave up and ac­tu­ally won the sec­ond half to go down gal­lantly by 21 points.

Tocumwal coach Sean Lo­gie led by ex­am­ple and bat­tled hard for his team all day with three goals, while un­der­sized ruck­man Dy­lan Mark bat­tled man­fully all day along with vet­eran Keith Baron.

Other good per­form­ers were Dane Maxwell, hav­ing his best sea­son, along with Zeke Flana­gan and Ol­lie Ren­nie.

For the Dogs Matt O’Kane, Adrian Crestani, Max Can­field and Adam Laid­law all con­trib­uted with two goals each, while Matt Shan­non was im­pres­sive from mid­field.

Fi­nal score, Strathmerton 12.14 (86) to Tocumwal 9.11 (65).

De­spite the loss, Lo­gie was up­beat with his side, say­ing that his charges showed plenty of fight on Satur­day.

‘‘I think we matched it well with them from the start,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t know whether our pres­sure went down in the sec­ond or what hap­pened but we showed some re­solve with how we didn’t let them take full con­trol of the game.

‘‘We would’ve been miss­ing six to eight of our top qual­ity se­nior play­ers so to per­form as well as we did was fan­tas­tic.

‘‘It would’ve been nice to get a win though and we don’t want to use miss­ing play­ers as an ex­cuse, be­cause every team goes through that.’’

The Bloods will now move on to face fourth placed Berrigan this week, with the match hav­ing fi­nals im­pli­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to Lo­gie.

‘‘If we win on Satur­day then we should be a cer­tainty to play fi­nals,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ll most likely come up against Berrigan in the fi­nals if we both make it so it would be good to have a bit of an edge over them hav­ing al­ready beaten them.

‘‘But any­thing can hap­pen in this game and you don’t want to look too far ahead.

‘‘We have to stay fo­cused and keep our minds on the task at hand each week.

‘‘The Saints will be hard to over­come and I’m ex­pect­ing a close match.’’

The clash will be played at Berrigan Sports Ground on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

LEFT: Tocumwal de­fender Jeremy Cardillo at­tempts to spoil Strathmerton’s Daniel El­lis. Photo supplied by He­len Barker.

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