CAMPERDOWN’S ability to win the close contests shone through on Saturday, with the Magpies coming from behind to record a thrilling victory.
Facing North Warrnambool at Bushfield in round 12 of the Hampden league football, the Magpies trailed by 26 points at three quarter time before storming home to win by two points.
Magpies coach Phil Carse was proud of the spirit his playing group showed after staring defeat in the face.
“It was fantastic,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of weeks where we weren’t able to get the result.
“We knew it was a crucial game for us.
“But the boys held their belief and managed to produce a big last quarter effort.”
Camperdown found themselves working into a strong breeze in the first term and after a frantic opening, hit the scoreboard first through Ben Reid.
The Eagles were quick to respond, with both sides scoring from their early opportunities but it was North who had the upper hand, entering quarter time 12 points ahead.
The Magpies started to get their running game going during the second term, breaking open the Eagles’ defence with plenty of forward entries.
Camperdown left a lot to be desired though, kicking a wayward 4.6 in front of goal, with several easy shots wasted.
North Warrnambool on the other hand managed to score three goals into the breeze to maintain a one point advantage at the main break.
The Eagles seized control of the game in the third quarter, using the wind to their advantage, kicking four goals to Camperdown’s one to open up a game high 26 point lead.
Luckily for the Magpies, the margin could have been a lot more if it was not for poor kicking from the Eagles, with North kicking eight behinds to go with their four goals.
Carse conceded North had the upper hand in the third term, winning the ball around the stoppages and spreading better than the Magpies.
“In the third quarter, North got on top right across the ground,” he said.
Carse rallied his troops at three quarter time and asked his players for one last effort.
They responded in strong fashion, getting on top at the contest and capitalising on their opportunities to reduce the margin to seven points halfway through the final term.
Another behind brought North’s lead back to one goal, before a passage of play on the wing led to a Luke Mahony goal, bringing the Magpies level.
The Magpies still had the majority of the play and kicked a behind to lead with just minutes remaining.
North was able to work its way inside 50 before a goal line scramble resulted in a ball-up, with the ensuing stoppage cleared by Camperdown.
The ball made its way to the wing but appeared to be coming back with North preparing to launch one final attacking thrust.
However, Mahony made another big play for the quarter, with a lunging tackle rewarded with a free kick.
The ball was immediately cleared inside 50 where another point was scored, before the Magpies held on in the final seconds to win 12.17 (89) to 12.15 (87).
Jason Robinson, Charlie Lucas (two goals) and the Arnold brothers – Billy (two) and Riley, all earned praise for their performances.
“Jason Robinson was terrific across half back, he played his best game of the year for us,” Carse said.
“Both the Arnold boys were good – Billy up forward and Riley was consistent around the footy.
“And Charlie Lucas was really good out on his wing.”
Mahony (two goals), Jack Williams, Harry Hunkin and Carse also played well for the Magpies.
The reserves missed a golden opportunity to take the four points, with the side overrun by North in the final term.
After leading by 14 points at the start of the last quarter, North slammed home five unanswered goals to record an 8.6 (54) to 5.6 (36) victory.
Dave Young was named best on ground, with Tom Place, Devon Coates, Daniel Hickey, Luke Clarke and Jeremy Lucas also playing well.
The under 18.5 match ended in a thrilling 9.7 (61) to 9.7 (61) draw.
The Magpies started the match strongly in opening two quarters but North fought back in the second half to draw the match.
Toby Kent, Lachie Stephenson, Luke Ball, Sid Bradshaw, Zavier Mungean and Jack Helmore were the best players.
In the two matches on Sunday, the Magpies were defeated in both games, with the under 16s losing 16.14 (110) to 1.6 (12) and the under 14s going down 2.5 (17) to 1.4 (10).
This weekend’s clash with Hamilton will see all football played on Saturday at Leura Oval, with the under 16s getting the action under way at 9am.