A DAMIAN O’Connor purple patch in attack helped Terang Mortlake to a morale-boosting win against Cobden on Saturday night.
The Bloods enter the Hampden interleague break with a 3-3 record after their 15.10 (100) to 12.15 (87) win at Cobden Recreation Reserve.
O’Connor, who returned from a niggling groin injury, kicked two of his three goals in the final four minutes when the game was in the balance.
Cobden grabbed the lead with eight minutes to play before Terang Mortlake responded with the final three goals.
Terang Mortlake coach Matt Irving said the Bloods’ forward line was instrumental in the result. Chris Bant, Jarryd Hay and O’Connor all kicked three majors.
“Damian played predominantly onball and we pushed him forward in the last 10 minutes,” Irving said.
“We pushed him deep and he was able to kick two goals in the last four minutes.
“He was probably the difference.”
Irving said the Bloods led for most of the game after jumping out of the blocks.
“We kicked five goals to zip in the first quarter and pretty much controlled the first quarter,” he said.
“We were still 18 points up at half-time and at three-quarter-time we were up by 24 points.
“They came hard in the last quarter and were able to start peppering the goals.”
Cobden coach Stephen Hammond said the Bombers responded well after a disappointing start. “We made a few changes and went man-on-man, which got us back in,” he said.
“The boys had a go. We just had a lapse in the first quarter.”
Hammond said Cobden started the last term “magnificently” but couldn’t find a knockout blow when it grabbed the lead.
“We hit the front and kicked four points in a row straight after,” he said.
“We should have buried them — they were all gettable (shots).”
Forward Tim Horan played his first game of the season but the Bombers lost Ash Rowan (hamstring), Mick Salmon (groin) and Sam Uwland (corkie) before the game.
Hammond named Brody Mahoney, Bart Phillips and Brad Salmon as Cobden’s most consistent contributors.
North Warrnambool Eagles inflicted Portland’s third road loss of the season, scoring 18.22 (130) to 11.18 (84) at Bushfield.
The Eagles’ seven-goal-to-one first term proved match-winning.
“I think it was the best we have played as a team as far as getting numbers around the footy but not all getting sucked in, protecting our forward line and getting our crumbers around,” coach Bernard Moloney said.