CAMPERDOWN will use Saturday’s final home-and-away match to fine-tune preparations for a second consecutive finals appearance after securing fifth spot with a big win over Terang Mortlake.
The Magpies ended Portland’s hopes of a dream first-season finals appearance when it banked four points with a 19.18 (132) to 11.9 (75) victory against Terang Mortlake at Terang Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The 57-point win took the Magpies two games clear of Portland leading into this week’s final-round match against bottom side South Warrnambool.
Camperdown coach Bernard Moloney said his team was hitting form at the right time of the season.
“I was really impressed with the way we played,” he said.
“We got our run and carry and run off half-back going.
‘‘We had some coast-to-coasters and we moved the footy pretty well.
“I was impressed with our work rate.”
The Magpies will have to assess key defender Nick Bateman’s fitness this week after he was knocked out at the start of the third quarter when he hit his head on the ground.
Moloney said Bateman seemed OK after the match.
That forced Luke Molan to move into defence where he had been playing before going forward on Saturday.
“It’s all about building confidence and self-belief and knowing we can play good footy,” he said of his side’s aims this Saturday.
“Then it’s up to us to get used to the pressure that will be applied in an elimination final.”
Terang Mortlake coach Shane Threlfall said the Magpies played as well as any other of the top five sides against his team.
He said the Magpies used the wind advantage in the first advantage to set up the game with 4.7 to his side’s 0.2.
Full-forward Stephen Staunton kicked seven goals but was starved of opportunities.
“When we had our turn we were really good but we didn’t put it on the scoreboard as much as the opposition,” he said.
The Bloods have two injury worries ahead of Saturday’s season finale against ninth-placed Port Fairy, with captain Tom McKenzie leaving the ground late in the match with a hamstring complaint while wingman Matt Arundell suffered a hip injury in the first term and never took any further part in the game.