CAMPERDOWN gave veteran Aaron Sinnott a memorable farewell with a 31-point win over arch-enemy Cobden on Saturday.
Sinnott, who announced his retirement after a 263-game career before the game, kicked a goal in the Magpies’ 11.8 (74) to 5.13 (43) result.
The win capped an emotional week for the Magpies, who mourned the death of loyal volunteer Margie Jones.
“It was a really tough week but the guys responded really well,” coach Dan Casey said.
“It was good to send Spook (Sinnott) off in the right fashion. He could go on but we’re going to miss him.”
The win lifted the Magpies from ninth to seventh, a game outside the five.
Had Cobden prevailed, the Bombers would have skipped three games clear of Camperdown but now the Magpies are in an intriguing race for a finals berth.
Two wins separate seven teams between fourth and 10th with six games remaining.
“We needed to beat one of the team who beat us earlier in the season,” Casey said.
“It gives us a bit of confidence to push on. We have six games to go and we know we have to win four of them.”
He said the Magpies pressured Cobden’s running players and bottled them up.
“All our young ones really stood up,” he said.
“Cobden beat us the first time with their young kids and today it was ours.”
Jack Williams was again impressive across half-back, alongside Jake Mahony, while teenagers Matt Field and Cam Spence were good in defence.
Cobden coach Stephen Hammond said the Bombers had missed a golden opportunity.
A win would have set up a showdown with North Warrnambool Eagles this Saturday for third spot.
Instead, the Bombers are sixth and two games behind the Eagles, locked in a seven-team battle for what appears to be two spots in the five.
“In the first quarter we had all the play and we could only score one goal,” Hammond said.
“They scored two goals with very little of the play. At the end of the second quarter we kicked a heap of points. In the third quarter we kicked four or five points in a row and that really hurt us, wasted opportunities. Bad decisions, bad disposals, bush footy.
“We had players that looked like they didn’t have a go in the second half. There were about six or eight players we could tell were trying their butts off.
“It was like the players were looking for the three Hs: Hinkley, Harkin and Horan, but we knew before the game they weren’t there and we had to do it ourselves. From the front of the goal square running in we missed three goals. They could have handballed over the top, it was real bush footy in the second half.”
The positive for the Bombers was the form of captain Paul Foster in the midfield in his second game back after missing most of the season with a knee injury, VFL-listed players Daniel Watson and Daniel Semmens.
Sam Uwland, who played in the midfield, is enjoying his best season at senior level.
Koroit cemented second spot on the ladder with a come-from-behind 17-point win over South Warrnambool at Friendly Societies’ Park.
The Roosters dominated the second quarter and led by 14 points at half-time. Saints coach Adam Dowie said his side, without four of its regular back six following the late withdrawal of Tim Carter through illness, was under immense pressure in the second quarter.
“The half-time break came at a good time for us,” he said.
The Saints led by five points at the last change and despite kicking against a wind, prevailed 10.13 (73) to 7.14 (56).
“It was a really good result. We had 12 guys who didn’t play in last year’s grand final and three of our best were kids,” Dowie said.
Willem Drew, 15, and James Gow, 16, were impressive, as was 20-year-old Levi Nagorcka, Dowie said.