Warrnambool sinks Portland with seven-goal final term

FOLLOW MY LEAD: Warrnambool forward Jed Turland celebrated a last-quarter goal against Portland in style. Picture: Rob Gunstone

FOLLOW MY LEAD: Warrnambool forward Jed Turland celebrated a last-quarter goal against Portland in style. Picture: Rob Gunstone

MOMENTUM is a big factor in football – just ask Portland.

The Tigers appeared a chance to notch their third win of the Hampden league season when they were within 14 points of Warrnambool heading into the final break at Reid Oval on Saturday.

But momentum – that invisable yet irresistible force – flung the Blues’ way early in the last term.

Warrnambool kicked seven unanswered goals, winning 18.12 (120) to 9.8 (62).

“Portland kicked the last goal of the third quarter – through their pressure we had a few errors and they were able to capitalise,” Blues coach John Cook said.

“They had a bit of momentum...but we snuffed it out early in the last quarter and were able to run away with it.”

Portland coach Luke Crane lamented the Tigers’ fade out.

“We had three really good quarters where we gave ourselves a chance but our midfield let us down a bit in the last quarter,” he said.

“Our heads dropped once they kicked a couple of goals. It was really disappointing.

“We’ve got to do a lot of accountability stuff at training and work on our centre clearance work.”

FIGHTING TO THE END: Daniel Falcone, pictured evading Warrnambool's Rob Bright, was one of Portland's best on Saturday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

FIGHTING TO THE END: Daniel Falcone, pictured evading Warrnambool's Rob Bright, was one of Portland's best on Saturday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Cook said the Blues lifted around the stoppages, making the most of Dan Weymouth’s final-term dominance in the ruck.

Midfielder Thomas Ludeman benefitted, while defender Matt Colbert was steady.

He praised brothers Jed and Jye Turland for their four-quarter forward pressure.

Jed finished with a game-high six goals.

“It was a very even performance but the guys we needed to play well, played well,” Cook said.

“And none more than Jed Turland. He started us off and was consistent throughout the game.

“He kicked a couple of goals each quarter.”

Crane, who praised midfielder Daniel Falcone, Kye Taylor in his return game and teenager Harris Jennings for their contributions, said the Tigers’ final-term lapse overshadowed their promising efforts in the preceding quarters.

“We let them get some soft goals which didn’t help but there were some passages which were the best we’ve all year and our pressure around the footy was good,” he said.

Both sides got through the match unscathed.

The Blues hope to regain key midfield cogs Damien McCorkell and Darcy Graham in coming weeks.

“We’re really conscious of the fact we’ve got kids in the team and we hope we can keep them in the team,” Cook said.

They had a bit of momentum...but we snuffed it out early in the last quarter and were able to run away with it. - John Cook

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