EAST Warrnambool’s reign as the Warrnambool and District league’s cellar dweller is officially no longer.
The Reid Oval club has shown glimpses of brilliant under first-year mentor Danny Chatfield, pushing South Rovers and Kolora-Noorat, but was yet to record a scalp.
The Bombers delivered on their promising form to squash Russells Creek on Saturday, extending their lead at every change after trailing at quarter time.
Chatfield, who was last season an assistant coach under Paul Hrabar, said the result was a reward for persistence.
“The guys have got to believe in themselves,” he said.
“We can obviously match it with anybody, but we’re halfway through the season now and a couple more wins would be rewarding for the young group we’ve got.
“I’d the guys to try to get a scalp, which is obviously a finals contender as that would give the guys a bit more belief. They can match it with them.”
Chatfield, a former Hawkesdale Macarthur coach, said the victory had lifted the mood among the senior side.
“One thing I touched on with the guys was that people are coming up to us around town and saying ‘you’re playing good footy, but you’re running out of legs’,” he said.
“I had to emphasise I was sick of people saying ‘you’re playing good footy, but you’re getting rolled at the last minute’.
“We’ve been needing to do it across four quarters and I’m just hoping the belief is there now. Next week will be a different story again, but the club is up and about.”
East Warrnambool’s ball-use set it apart, with several midfielders using clever chip-kicks to set up shots on goal.
The Bombers dominated in front of goal, enjoying 29 shots to the Kangaroos’ 17.
Chatfield placed an emphasis on pressure and tackling pre-game and said his side delivered.
“I think we had about eight tackles a quarter, we’d like a couple more but that’s hard when you’ve got a bit of the ball,” he said.
“Our tackling pressure was really good. When you don’t have the ball, things like tackles, smothers, even just the talk – it all helps.”
Russells Creek coach Heath Moloney was pleased with his defence but implored his midfielders and forwards to improve.
“We need to run it more. Our fitness has to get better,” he said.