When Michael Koroneos ran from the ground in the final minutes, the crowd at Cobden erupted. It was a hero's welcome for a player who had just kicked seven goals on senior debut.
The 19-year-old played a big role in Cobden's round 16 win against Hamilton, the Bombers kicking away in the fourth quarter to triumph 17.14 (116) to 10.12 (72).
There was a palpable energy around Koroneos' performance all day, from his first goal, where teammates from all corners of the ground came to get around him, to his two goals early in the fourth quarter which sparked the Bombers' final quarter assault.
Later Koroneos was first into the rooms, packed with supporters, as the Bombers launched into their team song for the sixth time this year. Post-game, Koroneos, the younger brother of 100-plus gamer Christian, said it "felt surreal".
"It was a good crowd and the boys delivered it on a string," he said. "It was good to get the win."
He said it was a shock to receive a late call up from coach Dan Casey while at work on Friday with Liam Loubey and Tully Darcy late outs.
"Happy he gave me the opportunity and happy to prove myself to him and put my name up there," he said.
Casey said Koroneos looked dangerous all day for the Bombers.
"We've been working really hard with him (all year) and today he got his hands on it and once he got his confidence up, he was unstoppable," he said. "He knows he can play senior footy and contribute. He's always had the potential and it's giving him the opportunity. He took his opportunity.
"He's going to get better each game he plays. Next week it's a hard opposition (North Warrnambool Eagles), and who knows, he might come out and kick five or kick zero but he'll learn each time."
In slippery conditions, the battle between sixth and seventh swung both ways for three quarters. With three-points separating the two sides at three quarter time, Hamilton coach Hamish Waldron was left disappointed as his side managed just one goal to Cobden's eight in the final term.
"I thought we had a lot of momentum and then to go down by 40 points, a lack of discipline slipped in as well," he said. "We're not about that and that's got to change."
Alex Clemens made his first senior appearance for Hamilton after crossing from Anglesea this year.
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Sports journalist at the Warrnambool Standard, with a strong interest in Australian Rules Football, basketball and women in sport. Email: email@example.com | mobile: 0475 949 802
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