CAMPERDOWN paid a high price for its 82-point win over arch-rival Cobden on Saturday, losing star midfielder Luke Mahony and premiership player James Gellie to serious injuries.
Mahony, who was dominant early, suffered a knee injury that will cause much consternation for the Pies in coming days as they sweat on his prognosis.
The news wasn't positive for Gellie, who suffered a broken bone in his hand, also in the first half, before the Pies raced to a 19.15 (129) to 7.5 (47) triumph at Leura Oval.
Hampden interleague selectors also face some anxious times after Cobden pair, captain Paul Foster (hamstring) and vice-captain Paul Hinkley (knee and corked thigh), were wounded. Bombers defender Greg Tongs also has a hamstring complaint.
Camperdown coach Bernard Moloney was delighted with the win, especially after having just one player on the bench for two-and-a-half quarters.
"I was a bit worried at half-time the way they were coming at us," Moloney said. "I thought they might have broken us open. We only had the one rotation for two-and-a-half quarters. I was rapt with the way they coped with the increased workload."
He threw key defender Jahd Anderson, hard-nut Aaron Sinnott and Al Johnson in the midfield at times to help support Sam Chapman and Luke Clarke, who were standouts.
Heath Moloney got on top in the ruck in the second half over Maskell Medal winner Levi Dare, Moloney said.
The win lifted the Magpies to the top of the ladder, a game clear of a chasing pack.
"I just wanted to be in the top three (after six rounds)," he said. "We've got a two hard games coming up, Koroit and North Warrnambool, and now we have to stay up there. If we can get through those I will be really happy.
"If you are top-three it means you are competitive with the good sides. Being competitive is what we set out to do at the start."
Moloney will give his players a break from training tomorrow night before having an intense boxing session on Thursday to re-evaluate fitness levels.
Bombers coach Wayne Robertson didn't see the second-half demolition (13.7 to 3.3) coming after being 18 points down at half-time.
"I felt we were looking OK at half-time, the second quarter we played pretty well," he said.
"But they just opened us up. Their split and spread was really good and it makes your skill level look really good because you are in space and under no pressure.
"They were pretty good, really good. I sort of thought we might have had them for leg speed and fitness at half-time but they just blew us away."
Robertson wouldn't make excuses. "The side we put on the paddock should have been more competitive than what it was."