FOR the second consecutive week, a final quarter comeback has seen Camperdown narrowly register victory in round five of Hampden league football.
A week after the Magpies overcame a five point three quarter time deficit to Hamilton, Camperdown finished strongly after trailing South Warrnambool by six points at the final change to win 10.9 (69) to 9.9 (63).
Coach Phil Carse was proud of his players in the six point victory, as the Magpies extended their unbeaten run to five matches.
He praised his contested ball winners on a day where outside footy was hard to come by.
“It was probably another game where conditions weren’t conducive to outside ball,” he said.
“It was wet and windy, so it was always going to be a contested game.
“But I thought our inside mids played a really good brand of footy.”
Camperdown burst out of the blocks, kicking the opening three goals of the game into the breeze before South responded in the latter part of the first term.
The Roosters kicked three of their own to lead by two points at quarter time, but the second quarter was all Camperdown’s as the home side took a 13 point margin into the main break.
“Because there was a strong breeze (to the town end), it was going to be hard to defend in the first and third terms,” Carse said.
“But our start in the first quarter was nearly the difference in the match.”
South Warrnambool started the second half quickly and kicked three goals in five minutes to regain the lead.
They kicked another two to the Magpies’ one to be 12 points ahead nearing the final change.
However a free kick and goal to Jacob Mahony (three goals) on the three quarter time siren kept the Magpies within reach as they trailed by a goal.
“I don’t think we went too far away from how we wanted to play (in the third quarter),” Carse said.
“But I thought our mids and forwards got sucked in at the contest and when South got it out on the outside, we got exposed.”
Despite being behind, Carse said he knew his players would give him a bold effort in the final term and was proud of their response.
“I was really confident in what we could do, knowing that we’d been in a similar situation against Hamilton last week in trailing (at three quarter time),” he said.
“There’s a lot of belief in the boys at the moment, we know if we’re close we can get a result.”
Camperdown kicked the first goal of the term to draw even and dominated play for most of the quarter but could not convert it on the scoreboard.
The Magpies finally hit the front through Isaac Stephens before a pack mark late in the term to Mahony sealed the game for the hosts.
South Warrnambool entered their forward 50 and took a mark right on the siren, which was duly converted, but the Magpies had done enough to snare the four points.
Luke Mahony was named best on ground for the Magpies in a strong four quarter performance in the midfield.
Several others also performed well for the side.
“Luke was really good as an inside mid and Jack Williams and Jason Robinson were both really good,” Carse said.
“Luke O’Neil gave us plenty of drive off half-back and I thought Sam Cunnington and Jesse Gallichan were pretty handy around the contest.”
Camperdown sits in third below Koroit and Port Fairy as the only undefeated sides this season, eight points clear of South Warrnambool and Portland.
Carse is happy with Camperdown’s start to the season, but admits his side still “hasn’t achieved anything yet”.
“Probably being a coach and the optimist I am, I certainly hoped we could be up there but knew we would be up against it playing the likes of Terang Mortlake and South Warrnambool early,” he said.
“But I couldn’t be prouder of the boys; they’ve set us up well (with a strong start).”
Following this weekend’s interleague bye, the Magpies will face their biggest test of the season so far when they take on Koroit at Victoria Park on May 26.
In the other matches last Saturday, the reserves were 43 point losers, the under 18.5s were outclassed in a 107 point defeat, the under 16s were outplayed in a 114 point loss and the under 14s went down by 117 points.