CAMPERDOWN co-coach Neville Swayn says he cannot fault the effort of his players despite a heavy loss to Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Magpies fell to the Blues for the second time of the season, this time a 17.8 (110) to 8.8 (56) defeat in scrappy conditions at Mahony’s Transport Leura Oval.
“Our effort was really solid throughout the day, it was just the lapses where we let ourselves down,” Swayn said.
“It was mainly in the last five to seven minutes of the first three quarters where Warrnambool scored most of their goals but there was some good signs shown.
“We scored heavily in the second quarter and our effort in the last quarter when the game was gone was encouraging, we really fought the game out well in the end.”
The Blues made all the early running with the advantage of a breeze to the northern end, kicking six unanswered goals to lead by 37 points at the first change.
But Camperdown quickly showed it was not a spent force at the start of the second quarter, kicking five goals to one to reduce the margin to two goals 10 minutes in.
Just as the home side appeared to have all the momentum the visitors took it away from them, with four late goals, including a contentious one, pushing the margin back out to 34 points at half time.
The Blues continued to control proceedings in the second half and extended their lead to 62 points at the final change before a mostly even last term saw the Magpies finish 54 points in arrears.
Jason Robinson was best on ground across half back once again for Camperdown, while Luke O’Neil and Riley Arnold also performed strongly.
Luke Mahony, Will Lord and Charlie Lucas were also standout contributors while Eddie Lucas kicked two goals on what was a tough day.
The loss was another blow to the Magpies’ finals hopes, with the side falling to seventh on the ladder, still two games out of fifth spot.
Swayn said his side still believed it could play in September despite tough games upcoming against top side North Warrnambool and fourth placed Port Fairy.
“It’s still mathematically possible and while that is we’ll endeavour to win every game that we can,” he said.
Meanwhile, the September campaigns for the reserves and under 18.5s gained traction with both sides recording strong wins.
The reserves fell to fifth on percentage but moved eight points clear of the Blues following their 11.6 (72) to 4.11 (35) victory.
Tim Fitzgerald (two goals) made a strong return from injury to be named the side’s best player, while Wayne Loader, Chris Dendle, Dave Young, Daniel Hickey and Isaac Stephens (three) played well.
The team will also face a tough test against the Eagles this weekend, who are undefeated on top of the ladder.
And the under 18.5s kept Warrnambool goalless in the first half as they scored a 10.9 (69) to 3.4 (22) triumph.
Zach Sinnott (three goals) was best on ground after returning from the seniors, while Ethan Coates, Toby Kent, Keiran Coburn, Sid Bradshaw and Archie McBean were also among the best players.
The Magpies’ victory kept them in second on percentage, two points off top side South Warrnambool ahead of their clash with the fourth placed Eagles.