WARRNAMBOOL will enter the Easter break atop the Hampden league ladder after grinding out a 19-point win against Camperdown on Saturday.
The reigning premiers were forced to work hard for the 13.17 (95) to 11.10 (76) win at Leura Oval.
They held a slender two-point margin at quarter-time and had dragged it out to 10 points at the main change.
A five-goal to two third term helped Warrnambool notch a 2-0 start to the season and sent Camperdown’s search for a breakthrough win into the third round.
Warrnambool coach Scott Carter said it was a workmanlike effort from his team.
“We played OK but not great,” he said. “I thought we wasted opportunities.
“Our pressure skills were good and we forced turnovers but we missed the scoreboard a lot.
“Camperdown tried really hard and at no stage throughout the day did they throw the towel in.”
Carter said mobile ruckman Andrew McCarthy and small forward Jye Turland, who kicked three goals, were important in the hard-fought result.
“I thought our back line did well — Sam Wilson and Michael Threlfall played really well across half back,” he said.
“They read the play well and their ball use was really good.”
Camperdown coach Dan Casey rued another missed opportunity. But the first-year Pies leader, who kicked five goals, drew positives from the loss, particularly his young team’s endeavour and willingness to compete.
“It’s a bit disappointing but the thing is we have a young group and they are willing to learn and the two sides we have played are top two sides,” he said.
Casey said Camperdown’s ball use played into Warrnambool’s hands.
“Our skill level was really disappointing,” he said.
“Four or five of their goals were scored by our poor kicking.”
Casey praised Nick Bateman for his role on Warrnambool spearhead Jason Rowan, who was restricted to two goals.
He labelled Luke Mahony’s efforts in the midfield “fantastic”.
Aaron Davis had negated Blues ball winner Darcy Graham before he left the field at half-time with a minor knee complaint.