Midfield grunt powers Portland triumph over seaside rival

PORTLAND coach Jake Myles praised his side for its defensive pressure after back-to-back wins for the first time this season on Saturday.

Luke Crane: midfield contributor. 140425DW50 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Luke Crane: midfield contributor. 140425DW50 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

The Tigers enter the bye in fourth spot on the back of their 6.16 (52) to 1.3 (9) win against Port Fairy at Hanlon Park.

Myles said Portland set the tone in the opening term in wet and slippery conditions.

The Tigers kicked two behinds against the wind and restricted the Seagulls to one.

Portland midfielders Luke Crane, Jake Dignan, Daniel Falcone and Marcus England were instrumental in the win, as the Tigers’ defensive pressure took its toll on the Seagulls.

“Our back six were fantastic all day but through the midfield (we won) and we emphasised during the week that that was where they beat us in round two,” Myles said.

“Dignan and Crane are starting to show their class a little bit in the midfield and in those conditions your good ball users and good decision makers stand out and ‘Falcs’ had his best game for the year.

“Dennis O’Loughlin went to (Gary) Robinson and it wasn’t the conditions for a full-forward but he kept him goalless and to a couple of touches.”

Myles said the Tigers, who have endured a bumpy season to date, had “started to find a bit of consistency”.

Former Portland forward Jaydon Stiles kicked Port Fairy’s only goal in his first game against his former side since defecting to the Seagulls earlier this season.

Cobden celebrated back-to-back wins with a 12.14 (86) to 7.6 (48) triumph against South Warrnambool at Cobden Recreation Reserve.

Bombers coach Stephen Hammond said his side made its move in the opening term before the wind and rain set in.

“That is the quarter that won it for us,” Hammond said.

“We kicked two late goals into the wind.”

Scores were level at 3.2 apiece at the first break but Cobden added four goals to two in the second term to give itself a handy break.

“When we ran the ball it was noticeable no matter the conditions and we still used the handball well in the conditions,” Hammond said.

Cobden captain Paul Foster returned from injury to be among the Bombers’ best, along with Tim Horan, Brody Mahoney, Sam Uwland and Daniel Semmens.

But Hammond said the club needed to learn from its start to the season, which reaped three straight wins before it collapsed to lose its next six games.

“We have a few numbers back, a bit of experience and still have kids with legs,” he said.

South Warrnambool coach Matthew Monk was pleased with his side’s opening term after identifying their slow starts as a problem.

The Roosters’ 3.2 was their best opening term of the year.

“In the first quarter we sensed the bad weather was coming,” Monk said.

“We kicked the first three goals and were quite excited by that because if you got a lead with those conditions coming it might have been enough but we lapsed in the second half of the first quarter and let them in.

“They wore us down in the end. 

“The Cobden boys run hard forward and certainly still did that in the conditions.”

Monk questioned two umpiring decisions in the second term.

He said Harry Lee received a yellow card, missing 15 crucial minutes, but his report was thrown out after the game and Cobden was awarded a goal after a goal umpire’s decision to award a behind  was overturned.

“The goal umpire called touched and next minute the boundary umpire overruled him,” Monk said.


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