Round 16 - Review 2012
CULCAIRN remains in the hunt for a finals berth after it held on for a thrilling two-point win over flag fancy Howlong at Culcairn on Saturday.
The Lions held a 16-point lead at the final change and look destined for victory after they stretched the lead to four goals with 10 minutes remaining.
But the Spiders, led by Troy Price, Damian Russo and Brad Farrugia, staged a desperate comeback to kick the final four goals of the match.
Key forward Steve Church gave the Spiders a shot at victory when he slotted his only goal to get the visitors within two points with two minutes remaining.
But the Lions dug deep in the dying minutes to cling onto victory and consolidate fourth position on the ladder with a 9-5-1 record.
Culcairn co-coach Leigh Baker, who clinched best-on-ground honours with a starring role in the midfield, said the Lions still had plenty of work to do become a finals certainty.
“Brock-Burrum and Walla both won on the weekend so by no means are we guaranteed a finals berth,” Baker said.
“There is still a lot of work to be done and we need to at least win one of our next three games.
“But that was probably our best win of the year and biggest scalp by far.
“We have been on the wrong end of a few close finishes so to actually win a close one gives us a bit of self-belief with finals just around the corner.
“We are definitely building but there is still a fair bit of room for improvement.
“We have got Henty this week who I rate as the premiership favourites.”
Azzi medallist Graham Fruean, Ben Schulz and Jarrah Maksymow also picked up plenty of possessions.
In other matches, Lockhart suffered its sixth consecutive loss of the season against Brock-Burrum.
Saints spearhead Kylin Morey was the major difference with an impressive seven-goal haul.
Rand-Walbundrie had little trouble accounting for CDHBU with Sam Terlich and Mark Wilde dangerous with 10 goal between them.
A LAST-minute goal to key forward Shannon Terlich has kept Henty’s top-two aspirations alive.
It was enough to give the Swampies a thrilling one-point win over flag contender Holbrook at Holbrook on Saturday.
The Swampies looked gone when they trailed by 17 points at the 20-minute mark of the final quarter, despite the Brookers kicking a woeful 8.14.
But three late goals, including the match-winner by Terlich from 35-metres on the run, allowed the Swampies to remain in the hunt for a top-two finish, thanks to their 10.3 (63) to 8.14 (62) win.
Henty assistant coach Jamarl O’Sullivan said the Swampies had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
“There is no doubt we stole the win,” O’Sullivan said.
“We didn’t panic during the last-quarter because we know we have got the ability to run the game out really well.
“They had a lot of the ball and missed a fair few opportunities.
“But we kicked more goals than points for one of the rare times this season and that kept us in the match.
“Bad kicking against Howlong probably cost us the game a couple of weeks ago.
“It was a real good team-building win because we didn’t play that well.
“Everyone just dug in that last-quarter and had a go.”
After trailing at the first change, the Brookers hit back in the second-quarter, mainly through the efforts of midfielders Brent Hibberson, Zach Fulford and Azzi medallist Mikal Bloom.
Bloom caused plenty of headaches in the first-half before the Swampies restricted his influence in the second half while lively small forward Jim Grills was a constant threat in attack with six-goals.
O’Sullivan led the Swampies revival with Heath Ohlin, Cameron D’Amelio and Darcy Kilmartin also in the thick of the action.
O’Sullivan is enjoying an outstanding season and the Albury premiership player is a leading chance in the Azzi Medal and club best and fairest.
Both sides were missing key players with Brooker match-winner Michael Lamb sidelined with a hamstring injury and the Swampies without coach Brent Piltz with a knee complaint.
Both are expected to miss again next week.
Meanwhile, Walla was forced to work hard to shrug off a determined Murray Magpies by 20 points.
The Hoppers led by 10 points at the final change with Relton Roberts, David Beaumont and Brentley Moreen the standouts.