COBDEN coach Stephen Hammond is treating Saturday’s match against South Warrnambool as a grand final after the Bombers opened the Hampden league season with a nine-goal win.
The Bombers broke the match open against Hamilton Kangaroos with four goals in the first five minutes of the third term as they completed an 18.9 (117) to 8.15 (63) victory at Cobden Recreation Reserve.
Hammond said he had experienced the full range of emotions during the day as he first watched his side open a sizeable lead only for the Kangaroos to close within 10 points at half-time.
“I explained to the boys if you don’t have a go all the time at Cobden this season, we are going to get beat,” he said.
Versatile big man Paul Hinkley and dynamic midfielder Sam Harkin both kicked five goals for Cobden.
Hammond said Hinkley, who played at full-forward, could just as easily line-up in defence against the Roosters this Saturday depending on match-ups. But he said the big positive from the game was the form of young players like 16-year-olds Christian Koroneos and Paul Pekin.
Hamilton Kangaroos coach Jarrod Holt said that while scoring shots were similar, the margin reflected the pattern of the match.
“I think Cobden out done us, they had a couple of strong patches where they just dominated,” he said.
“Coming in at half-time 10 points down we just had to keep working hard because we’d put ourselves in a position to win the game.
“We knew we were a chance but we were unable to execute a lot of the things we have been working on at training under pressure.”
Meanwhile, Koroit coach Adam Dowie said the Saints had an added incentive to win on the weekend.
They recorded a thumping 72-point triumph over Port Fairy at Victoria Park.
“No one gave us much chance according to The Standard,” he said.
“We had a meeting on Friday night and presented the jumpers to the new players and Ben Goodall spoke and he said ‘we’ve been hearing a bit with everyone writing Koroit off’ and we said we’re sick of talking about it.
“Our meeting on Friday night was a bit about what we’d take out of the grand final and how it would motivate us individually and as a group.”
Dowie said the Saints’ scoring potency — they had 29 scoring shots from about 50 inside 50 entries — was a catalyst in the win.