Round 17 - Review 2012
PERENNIAL powerhouse Osborne rammed the final nail into Lockhart’s finals coffin with a comprehensive 40-point victory at Lockhart on Saturday.
With their season on the line, the Demons were lively early against their more fancied opponent but couldn’t sustain the effort, eventually losing 13.16 (94) to 8.6 (54).
It was their seventh straight loss and leaves the last spot in the top six a race between Brock-Burrum and Walla.
The Hoppers trail the sixth- placed Brock-Burrum by six points with three rounds remaining but can still snatch an unlikely finals berth if they defeat CDHBU, Billabong Crows and Lockhart and rely on the Saints losing to Henty, Jindera and Holbrook.
Cats coach Daniel McAlister was relieved to emerge with the four points and take a step closer to clinching the minor premiership.
“We played a side that was desperate and playing for their survival,” McAlister said.
“They certainly put it to us and it was a sweet victory against our arch rival.
“But it was no means a walk in the park and they threw everything at us.
“I was just glad to come away the four points and remain in top-two contention.”
Osborne’s defence was outstanding in the victory, restricting the Demons to eight goals for the match.
Defender Matt Clarke was a springboard for many of the Cats attacking moves with Trent Perczyk providing a lively and deadly accurate forward target with five goals.
David Johnson, Chris Cerato and Mitch Pilon were the Demons best.
In other matches, Michael Lamb made an earlier than expected comeback from a hamstring strain to boot seven goals in the Brookers thumping 103-point win over Jindera.
The victory ensured the Brookers will play finals after losses to Howlong and Henty.
Ben Terlich kicked four goals in Rand-Walbundrie’s 74-point victory over Billabong Crows.
A RESURGENT Culcairn showed why it is the wildcard in the Hume league finals race with a hard-fought 20-point win over fierce rival Henty.
The Lions asserted their authority after a low scoring first-half, booting nine goals to four to run away with a 12.4 (76) to 7.14 (56) victory.
The win away from home cemented the Lions a spot in the top-six. Henty is still in a battle with Howlong for a top-two and prize double chance in finals.
Culcairn co-coach Leigh Baker said the Lions had derived a lot of self belief from last week’s upset win against Howlong to claim their second big scalp in as many weeks.
“We have gained a fair bit of self belief in the past two weeks which was missing at the start of the season,” Baker said.
“We have also been able to keep the same team on the paddock for the past couple of weeks which has allowed us to stick to our structures.
“We are playing somewhere near our best at the right time of the season.
“Our focus now is to build further momentum as we approach September.”
With the match up for grabs at the final change on Saturday, the Lions lifted their intensity. Andrew Robinson, Leigh Baker and Ben Schulz were instrumental in setting up the win.
Robinson battled hard in the clinches and his three goals from long range proved invaluable.
Livewire Jarrah Maksymow slammed on two crucial goals early in the final-term to give the Lions some much-needed breathing space.
The Swampies struggled to find a reliable avenue to goal with Grant Gardiner well held by defender James Paton who was a tower in defence.
He won a host of contested possessions to emerge as the most influential player on the ground.
Simon Hillier, Darcy Kilmartin and Beau Connell were among a handful of Swampies who battled hard.
In other matches, CDHBU notched its third win of the season against the Murray Magpies.
In what was expected to be a tight encounter, Matt Robinson proved a surprise packet for the Power with four goals with Doug Lavis booting three in his first match in six weeks.
Power defender Andrew Ollington was his team’s best after restricting Magpie spearhead Anthony Pierri to a meagre two goals.