Aim­ing to raise bar

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

Co­bram Roar ended their sea­son know­ing they had done every­thing pos­si­ble to turn the tide against a far su­pe­rior Myrtle­ford.

Mi­nor premier Myrtle­ford put on a clinic against the eighth-placed Roar, ruth­lessly putting away six chances to Co­bram’s nil.

English tal­is­man Tom Youngs was man-marked through­out the match, but still man­aged to bag a brace, while Pa­trick Si­bo­mana nabbed one, as did Jake Miles, Matt Park and de­fender An­gus Kelly.

Co­bram’s ini­tial plan was to keep Myrtle­ford goal­less for as long as pos­si­ble be­fore tak­ing chances at a late stage.

But at 2-0 down af­ter 10 min­utes, the plan had to be changed.

‘‘We were ex­cited and op­ti­mistic af­ter last week but when it mat­tered they showed their strength and took their chances. We were 3-0 down at half-time and de­cided to go for it,’’ Co­bram coach Bill Puck­ett said.

‘‘We changed the for­ma­tion and in­tro­duced Shaun Wil­lis and had chances, but it just didn’t go our way. That’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween the teams, they proved they are the best team in the league.’’

With the loss of key play­ers Adam Gatcum and Bill Mar­shall to other clubs in re­cent times, it was al­ways go­ing to be a tough ask for Co­bram to make an im­pact in the league this year.

Just mak­ing the top eight is an im­pres­sive ef­fort for the Roar — and one Puck­ett is proud of.

‘‘You never want to go out of fi­nals and not in the fash­ion we did. I can’t fault the boys’ com­mit­ment or ef­fort, but we need to put up our hands and say they were the bet­ter side on the day,’’ he said.

‘‘As far as I know ev­ery­one is stay­ing on for next year. I’m hop­ing we can go again next year and be a stronger side from this game.’’

From here the side has a long spell on the side­lines await­ing the 2019 pre­sea­son.

Puck­ett said he would be look­ing to strengthen the side and go one fur­ther next time.

‘‘I want to be a top-six side next year, and I want it to be eas­ier for us to go deeper in fi­nals,’’ he said.

Tango: Co­bram Roar young­ster Tarkyn Hyde tan­gles with Myrtle­ford su­per­star Tom Youngs.

Com­posed: on the ball. Co­bram Roar’s Mar­ius Williams looks calm

At­tack: ball. Roar coach Bill Puck­ett charges for­ward with the

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