CAMPERDOWN coach Phil Carse was proud of his players’ efforts in their round nine Hampden league football win over Cobden on Saturday.
The Magpies stunned the Bombers with a six goal blitz in the opening term, before going on to post a 10.15 (75) to 3.8 (26) victory.
With the match played in wet, muddy and windy conditions, Carse was pleased with how his players handled the conditions.
“It was a wet and scrappy affair with heaps of contested footy,” he said.
“Our boys played that style really well and got on top at the stoppages and came away with a really pleasing victory.”
The only downside to the victory was the loss of Nick Bateman to injury just minutes into the match.
While the severity of Bateman’s injury is still unknown, his loss failed to deter the Magpies’ ability to score as they started well to race out to a healthy lead at the first change.
Carse said his side was able to “take advantage” in the first quarter after he sensed pre-game his players were focussed on the task ahead.
He said with the ground also being a little drier early, the Magpies were able to make the most of their opportunities early with “fresher legs”.
“Our boys were in a good mindset early with plenty of energy and enthusiasm and were keen to get the victory,” Carse said.
The second quarter was an even affair as continual stoppages across the ground prevented either side from taking advantage on the scoreboard.
Carse said with the ground condition deteriorating after quarter time, the contest changed as both sides tried to push forward in an effort to keep the ball in their attacking half.
With “extremely heavy legs” both sides worked from stoppage to stoppage mostly on one side of the ground, with neither side willing to concede the football in the midfield.
“It really became a metres gained contest,” Carse said.
“It (the play) was just rolling stoppage to stoppage up and down the line.”
Neither side managed to score a goal with the Bombers kicking two behinds to Camperdown’s one as the Magpies entered half-time with a 38 point buffer.
Camperdown once again had all the play in the third quarter but could not capitalise on the scoreboard, kicking a wasteful 2.8 to extend their margin to 49 points at the final change.
Both sides kicked 2.3 apiece in the last term but it was the Magpies who held strong to record their eighth victory, with Carse praising his defence for “defending their lead really well”.
Jesse Gallichan was best afield for Camperdown, alongside Will Rowbottom, Fraser Lucas, Luke O’Neil, Sam Cunnington and Locky Bone.
“Jesse Gallichan was really good around the footy,” Carse said.
“He was really hard at the footy, both he and Sam Cunnington were.
“Will Rowbottom was good again in the ruck giving us first use.
“And Fraser Lucas and Luke O’Neil were really solid down back for us and repelled a lot of their attack.”
Carse (three) and Gallichan (two) both kicked multiple goals for the Magpies, while Bone, Cunnington, Ben Reid, Jason Robinson and Matt Field also hit the scoreboard.
With the round completing the first half of the season, Camperdown sits one game behind Koroit in second place on the ladder.
The Magpies hold a four point gap over Port Fairy (third), with some breathing room between the top three and next four sides.
South Warrnambool (fourth) is 12 points further behind the Magpies, while Terang Mortlake (fifth) and Portland (sixth) sit four wins behind Camperdown.
Cobden (seventh) is 20 points adrift (of Camperdown) and is only two points clear of Warrnambool (eighth) and Hamilton (ninth) with North Warrnambool (10th) the only side to register a victory this season.
While Carse is happy with how the season has unfolded for his side so far, he knows they must continue to improve if they are to impact the second half of the season.
He said there had been several close results in their first nine games, but he wants his side to build on their early form as they face each club for a second time.
“I’m really happy with our first nine games,” Carse said.
“To be in second position is something we’re happy about but we’re certainly not satisfied with.
“We can’t rest on where we are at.”
The reserves recorded their third win of the season, defeating the Bombers 9.13 (67) to 2.4 (16).
Luke Clarke, Devon Coates, Wayne Loader, Eddie Lucas, Jeremy Lucas and Dave Young were the side’s best players.
The Under 18.5s broke through for their first win of the season, accounting for Cobden 6.9 (45) to 5.3 (33)
Isaac Fowler was best afield for Camperdown, while Luke Ball, Zavier Mungean, Sid Bradshaw, Henry Hocking and Lachie Stephenson all played well.
The under 16s kicked a goal in the final seconds to turn certain defeat against Port Fairy into a 2.4 (16) to 2. 4 (16) draw.
Hayden Brett, Josh Place, Hamish Sinnott, Dom Absalom, Archie McBean and Brodie Stephens were the Magpies’ best.
And the under 14s started well but could not hold off the Seagulls, going down 4.3 (27) to 1.6 (12).
Darcy Duynhoven, Isaac Baulch, Ed Johnstone, Rory Mason and Noah Sinnott all played well.
This weekend both sides play Terang Mortlake, with the senior matches to be played at Mortlake’s D.C. Farran Oval as part of the Bloods’ merger celebrations, while the junior games will be played at Camperdown on Sunday.