Bombers stun Rams
Noradjuha-quantong all but sealed a finals berth and Natimuk United possibly squandered a golden top three finish opportunity in an eventful Horsham District league match at Natimuk Showground.
The traditional rivals each had plenty to play for and it was the Rams who grabbed a narrow lead at quarter time, slotting five goals straight to the Bombers’ 4.1.
The home side maintained a narrow lead at the long break, but in the second half the arm wrestle of a contest started to turn in Noradjuha-quantong’s favour.
Despite the continued absence of spearhead Shane Oakley, Cam Bruce stepped up with a seven-goal haul – his best performance of the season.
With Ryan Stacey, Dustin Cross, Jack Vague and Jordan Huff, four goals, also exerting their influence on the game, the Bombers opened the floodgates in the final term, kicking seven goals to the Rams’ five to cap a stirring 19.6 (120) to 16.7 (103) win.
Justin Bromley, Callum Cameron and Dylan Bates could hold their heads high for the defeated home side, while Jaydon Stiles kicked four goals up forward.
The Rams slid to fourth on the ladder after the loss, but will have an opportunity to fight their way back into the top three by season’s end, starting with a game against Pimpinio this weekend.
The Tigers were crushed
by Jeparit-rainbow in a return to form by the Storm, with Ben Warren kicking nine goals and Peter Weir slotting five.
Pimpinio’s lone goal in the 29.11 (185) to 1.3 (9) hiding came through Daniel Baker at the start of the third quarter.
Dylan Baker and Nathan Clough were also among the team’s best on a tough day at Rainbow.
The Storm has a chance to solidify its position with a match against Taylors Lake in round 16.
The Lakers were gallant but lacked the polish to overcome Swifts in a match celebrating the indigenous heritage of both clubs at North Park, Stawell.
Taylors Lake was only five points in arrears at half time and, led by Heath Kelm and Mitch Whelan with a combined five goals for the day, looked to create a huge upset.
But the Baggies steadied the ship in the absence of several key players including the hard-running duo of Damon Folkes and coach Scott Carey.
In their absence Todd Matthews, Zach Armer and former coach Ben Martin stood up, Martin booting six goals to help seal the 14.14 (98) to 8.7 (55) win.
A top of the ladder clash at Apsley was won convincingly by Harrow-balmoral, which defeated the hometown Saints 27.6 (168) to 12.5 (77) in a display of accurate kicking.
The Saints served up a competitive performance – led by Jeremy Kealy, Jak Ryan and four-goal George Walker – but could not contain a surfeit of Roo goalkickers.
More than half of the team got its name on the scoresheet, led by Michael Close, six goals; Simon Close, five; and Cody Deutscher, Scott Addinsall and coach Nick Pekin, three each.
The game showed how deep the gulf between the Roos and the rest of the competition truly is; despite kicking the highest score registered against Harrow-balmoral this season the second-placed Saints still nearly finished the day with a triple-digit defeat.
Kalkee kept its hopes of overtaking Noradjuha-quantong for sixth place alive with a 20.14 (134) to 6.7 (43) win against home team Laharum at Cameron Oval.
Louis Papst continued his strong recent form with a second consecutive best on ground performance for the Kees, while four goals to Jayden Kuhne, three to Simon Hobbs and two to Colby Ledgar also saw them named among the best.
Josh Beddison led all goal kickers with five majors.
For Laharum, coach Tom Crawford continued to lead from the front with two goals, supported by Alec Steff, Mitch Horwood and Jed Mcconville.
The road ahead does not get any easier for Laharum, with a road trip to Balmoral to take on the Roos looming on Saturday.
Rupanyup will return to action when it hosts Edenhope-apsley, while Kalkee, Noradjuha-quantong and Swifts have byes in round 16.