CAMPERDOWN succumbed to a third successive defeat at the hands of North Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Magpies were outclassed after the opening term as the Eagles slammed home 14 goals to four in wet conditions to record an 18.9 (117) to 5.11 (41) victory.
Co-coach Neville Swayn said he took heart from seeing improvement in his side’s performance despite the final margin.
“We were obviously disappointed with the end result but there were some processes from the Warrnambool game that we needed to improve and we did that well,” he said.
“Our willingness to take the game on was better, it was just our execution that played into North Warrnambool’s hands that brought them out the other way (too easily).”
The Eagles started strongly in the first half, kicking seven goals to Camperdown’s one to open up a 31 point half-time lead before they were able to kick away in the second half.
They pushed their lead out to 55 points at the final change with a seven goal to three third term before four goals to one in the last quarter allowed them to cruise to a comfortable 76 point win.
Swayn conceded the Eagles were the better side as the game progressed but said he could not question the “effort” of his players as the Eagles’ lead grew.
“It just emphasised that even though we did turn it over (quite often), the group just never gave in,” he said.
“I think you can have those games where you can be 10 goals down and can just fall away (badly) but the group never did that which was a massive positive.”
Of the few individual winners on the ground, Swayn credited at least five to six Magpies for their efforts across the day.
“Charlie Lucas was really consistent all day as an on-baller,” he said.
“Matt Field on the wing and Josh Bone on-ball were also good and both Brendan Richardson in defence and Pele Manivong in the midfield played well.”
The Magpies are now preparing to end a tough run of matches against the competition’s top sides this weekend, with a trip to Port Fairy awaiting them.
Swayn said his side will continue to work on improving its ball use at training, but added a win over Port Fairy will keep them in touch with the top sides heading into the interleague break.
“There is such a logjam of sides in the middle of the ladder so hopefully we can get a win and stay amongst them,” he said.
“There are a few boys that aren’t playing interleague that are looking forward to the bye but then after that we really look at a solid month to set up our year.”
In the lower grades, the reserves suffered a 39 point loss, while the under 18.5s tasted defeat for the first time after going down by 14 points.