Worry for Warriors as second ruckman is lost to injury

OLD Collegians could be without both of their big men for their Warrnambool and District league showdown with Dennington next Sunday.

The Warriors lost mobile tall James Ryan to a corked thigh in the second quarter of their 23.19 (157) to 6.7 (43) win over Timboon Demons on Saturday.

The injury could potentially leave him on the sidelines, where he would join first-choice ruckman Darren Lloyd, who has a calf injury. 

Coach Daryl Beechey said time would tell whether Old Collegians would have either recruit at their disposal this weekend.

Beechey said he did not think Ryan would play, leaving Lloyd in a race against time to be fit. The Warriors’ big men stocks wear thin after that.

“We’ll have to juggle it from there (if neither play),” Beechey said.

“It’s going to be a bit of a juggling act. It’s a couple of holes we need to fill.”

Ryan was one of two serious injuries to emerge from the win. Teenager Jacob Lacy broke a wrist in the third term and will miss at least a month.

“He doesn’t even know how it happened. It was just in a contest, one of those freak things that happens. There was nothing in it,” Beechey said. The injuries overshadowed the Warriors’ fourth win of the season. 

Eli Barker spent more time in attack than usual and kicked a game-high five goals, while Josh Walsh (four) and Chris Chambers (three) also hit the scoreboard.

Barker, teenager Ben Rantall — who has held his spot after playing as the substitute to start the season — and Aaron Williams were their best.

“(Ben) was the sub for a couple of weeks and last week he played a full game and was second-best and yesterday he was best on,” Beechey said.

“He’s showing a lot. He’ll be a good footballer. He was playing on a wing mainly, then he had a go on the ball and went all right there as well.”

Beechey said the effort boded well for the Warriors’ match against the Dogs.

“If we play how we did for three quarters for four, we’ll be a chance. We just need to put a four-quarter effort on the park,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s just a concentration thing or not. We’ll keep chipping away at it and hopefully get it sorted.”

Tom Hunt and Marcus Hickey kicked two goals each for the Demons, who named young forward Alex Lees as their best.

Andrew Blake, Sam Newey and Simon Harkness also stood tall. The tests don’t get easier for the Demons, with Allansford awaiting this week.

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