Warrnambool coach labels Cobden a 'genuine contender' after tough battle

WARRNAMBOOL coach Scott Carter says Cobden is a genuine contender after his side battled to maintain its unbeaten start to the season.

The Blues struggled to overcome the Bombers’ pace, fighting qualities and their own inaccuracy before prevailing 14.21 (105) to 12.11 (83) at Cobden on Saturday.

“I was impressed by them,” Carter said. “They’re a really quick, hard-running side. They have the potential (to beat anyone), especially if they are able to get Paul Foster back (from injury), enabling them to play Brody Mahoney and Sam Harkin up forward more.”

Carter said Cobden ruckman Paul Hinkley was a standout performer, while Mahoney and Harkin were impressive.

 “I guess we are just pretty happy to get over the line and with no injuries.”

Carter said his side’s inability to kick goals had almost cost it the game. The Blues led by eight points at three-quarter-time despite having eight more scoring shots but seven minutes into the final term, the Bombers had erased the deficit and pinched a bigger gap.

But he said the most pleasing aspect of the game was his side’s ability to finish with the final four goals of the game.

“We had 11 more scoring shots,” he said.

Full-forward Jason Rowan took 17 marks inside the Blues’ forward arc as he had 15 shots at goal for 6.8, Carter said. 

He said wingman Nick Chirnside produced his best game since returning from a knee reconstruction midway through last season.

Cobden coach Stephen Hammond said the Bombers were disappointed to let a chance slip but took positives out of the narrow loss.

“They started well but we kept with them and had our chances,” he said.

Hammond said the Bombers had injury woes in the second half. Lincoln Dare hurt his knee and Christian Koroneos and Brendan Richardson suffered corkies. 

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