Old Collegians revival leaves Kolora-Noorat in its wake

A HUNGRY Old Collegians has taken another step in its revival with a 44-point win over Kolora-Noorat.

The Warriors have made a perfect start to the season after two rounds, following a 2013 that yielded no wins and a bottom-of-the-ladder placing.

In round 11 last season the Warriors went down to the Power by 191 points at Davidson Oval.

But the same teams at the same venue on Saturday brought a very different result — the tables turned 12.12 (90) to 6.10 (46).

Both teams went into the game with impressive first-round wins under their belt.

While the Warriors were buoyed by a host of new recruits, the Power looked to have overcome the loss of several of their best players from the previous season.

When the Power kicked the first goal within minutes of the game starting, it looked like the Warriors had their work cut out.

But it was to be just a passing setback as the Warriors seized control of the game, despite kicking into the breeze at the town end of the ground.

The Warriors kicked four of the next five goals of the quarter to go out to a 13-point lead at the first break.

It became ugly for the Power in the second quarter as they were to kick just one goal for the term with the home side kicking three goals either side of this to open up a match-winning 47-point half-time lead.

An improved second half from the Power meant they matched the Warriors’ output of three goals over the last two quarters without ever seriously threatening to significantly reduce the final margin. The Warriors were lively up forward, with Aaron Williams kicking four goals and Josh Walsh, a cheeky small forward who had the Power defence in a spin, with two goals.

But as is the case with many games of football this was a contest that was won and lost in the middle of the ground.

The driving force for the Warriors was ruckman Darren Lloyd, who not only got his hands to the ball first but directed it expertly to an eager band of helpers at his feet. Centreman Matthew Lynch was particularly influential at the stoppages winning clearances at will and setting up his running players in space moving forward.

Lynch leads an impressive group of onballers including Colby Rix, Nathan Forth, Daniel Weel, Jacob Dunkley and Eli Barker.

This group was frantic in its attack on the football and its intensity around the contest meant the Power were constantly under pressure.

Old Collegians coach Darryl Beechey said Lloyd has been an important acquisition to the team.

“We have a good mix of onballers rolling through with guys who are good in close and guys who can then add the polish,” Beechey said.

“Darren has played at a high level in Bendigo and he brings a lot of expertise to our stoppages and clearances and is a very valuable player.”

While they have defeated the Power for the first time since 2011, the Warriors have another big challenge ahead of them this Saturday.

They travel to Allansford to take on a Cats line-up that looks like the real deal this season. The Power will head to the Reid Oval to take on East Warrnambool who will be on a high after defeating Deakin University.

While they may not be the force they have been in past seasons, the Power showed enough in the second half to suggest anyone who take them lightly this season will pay a high price.

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