Eagles recover

North Warrnambool Eagles big man Jordan Dillon leaps high for a mark under pressure from Cobden’s Ash Rohan at Bushfield Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

North Warrnambool Eagles big man Jordan Dillon leaps high for a mark under pressure from Cobden’s Ash Rohan at Bushfield Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

MOMENTUM finished Saturday wearing yellow, blue and white.

At times it had donned red and black.

North Warrnambool Eagles responded from a third-quarter hiccup which gifted Cobden three goals without a centre bounce to record a 16.12 (108) to 13.9 (87) win at a windswept Bushfield Recreation Reserve.

The Eagles let a 10-point half-time lead slip early in the third term when Bombers pair Dominic Dare and Sam Harkin kicked three goals in a minute following Eagles  indiscretions in front of Cobden’s goals before the umpire could bounce the ball in the centre.

Eagles teenager Thomas O’Leary was at the centre of the bizarre event which enabled the Bombers, already with the advantage of a significant breeze, to grab a nine-point lead and the momentum.

A third Dare goal shortly afterwards extended Cobden’s margin to 17 points as the Bombers threatened to put enough space between themselves and the Eagles, who would finish with the breeze, before three-quarter-time.

The Bombers had chances to push the margin out further but couldn’t capitalise. 

Momentum swayed the Eagles’ way before the final change.

Goals to Mark Murphy, who finished with five, and Jarryd Lewis cut the margin to eight points.

North Warrnambool Eagles kicked six goals to two to finish with a flurry and end Cobden’s three-game unbeaten run.

Cobden kicked the opening major through Ben Robertson but Murphy, Lewis, Jeremy Parkinson and Michael Darmody provided the Eagles with forward line options.

Murphy’s speed off the mark proved telling, while Darmody gave the Eagles a presence all game. 

North Warrnambool Eagles coach Bernard Moloney said he was proud of his side’s response after the disappointment of conceding three goals within a minute in the third term.

Moloney said he expected O’Leary to learn from the incident and was proud of how he and the team rallied together.

“I think they got in Tom’s face for giving away the first goal and Tom pushed the bloke away and he fell over and then they got in his face even more,” Moloney said. 

“You’d hate to think those sort of things decide a game. 

“We are Hampden league footy, we are not under 12s, so it’s disappointing to see that but I was really happy with some of the level heads of ours boys, who got around and settled it down after three goals. 

“You just say ‘put that behind you and move on’, especially with young blokes. I don’t like dwelling on negatives.

“It’s all about what you do next. Get involved in the next contest. 

“As I said to the boys after the game, you can throw a game away pretty easy if you drop your bundle and forget what you’re after.”

Cobden kicked the first six goals of the game, including five unanswered in the opening term, to put North Warrnambool Eagles on the back foot. The Bombers, who linked up well through handball, added an exclamation mark to their first quarter when Harkin kicked a 50-metre bomb on the siren.

The Eagles worked their way back into the contest in the second term on the back of Matthew Wines’ grunt work in his 150th game.

Dean Gavin chipped a low pass to Tom Batten, in his return game from injury, on the half-time siren and he gave the Eagles a 10-point buffer.

Of the 29 goals kicked for the game, 26 were to the Mortlake end. 

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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