COLBINABBIN seniors put forward a gallant effort against one of the powerhouses of the competition, keeping themselves in the game for three quarters before unfortunately going down to Leitchville-Gunbower by five goals, 7.12 (54) to 11.18 (84).
It was a hot footy from the opening bounce with both sides refusing to give an inch, the Bombers having the better of scoreboard as they went into the first break nine points in front.
Despite the conditions being perfect for football both sides were well below their best in front of goal, with Colbo squandering several chances to hit the lead in the second.
The Hoppers kicked 1.5 to 2.1 as the Bombers extended their lead to 11 points at half time.
Despite Colbo having plenty of ball, the third term belonged to the Leitchville, scoring 4.4 while restricting the Hoppers to just 2.2 to stretch their lead to 19 points at three quarter time.
The final term wasn’t pretty as our boys battled to win the footy forward of centre while the Bombers peppered the goals.
Fortunately their wayward kicking saw them float through 3.8 to the Hoppers 2.3, finishing 35 points in front at the final siren.
Will Morrow was brilliant on a wing, his attack on the footy and willingness to put his body on the line for his team mates was inspirational, Patty O’Brien was at his industrious best, quietly collecting a stack of the prune and using it with precision, Mitch McEvoy is fast becoming a premier big man of the competition, giving first use to the mids at stoppages and winning his own footy around the ground and the evergreen Luke Hill was superb in defence, providing a cool head under pressure.
Other better players included Sam Vale who battled hard through the middle all day and Hadleigh Sirett who provided a reliable tall target and won his share of hitouts.
■ AN UNDERMANNED Colbo reserves outfit proved too strong for the fourth placed Bombers, despite being under the pump in the first half.
A slow start and some inaccuracy in front of the sticks saw the Hoppers four points behind at quarter time.
Halfway through the second though, the lads arrested momentum and applied some scoreboard pressure, heading into the main break with a slender eight-point lead.
The second half belonged to the Hoppers as they cracked the game open with some gut running, piling on 8.3 to Leitchville’s 3.6 to run out 35-point winners, 12.11 (83) to 6.12 (48).
Darcy Taylor brought his own Sherrin for the second week in a row, running riot through the midfield.
Ricky Welch had a tremendous impact up the ground this week, setting up forward drives instead of being on the end of them.
Excitement machine Geordie McMurtrie was excellent again, his ability to break tackles and use the ball effectively were highlights of his game.
Rounding out the better players were Stephen Tuohey who was at his line-breaking best, Will Hayes who played the quarter back role superbly and ruckman Liam Vale who was dominant all over the ground.
■ THE THIRDS began the day with a bang, turning up to play and getting the jump on the Bombers through contested ball and ferocious tackling pressure.
Smart ball movement, skill execution and hard work off the ball saw them skip out to five goal half time lead.
From there the Hoppers began to run out of steam as the big, mobile Bombers began to hit the scoreboard.
The boys did everything they could to hang on, but a Leitchville goal in the dying minutes saw the Bombers run out two point victors in a nail biter of the highest standard, 6.7 (43) to 6.9 (45).
Skipper Wade Brown was again outstanding, relishing an extended stay in the midfield and Hugh Hamilton’s wonderful season continued, his work rate and willingness to push to as many contests as possible saw him collect a heap of the football.
Ian Fuller was lively in an open forward line, finishing with three majors and having a hand in several others, Charlie Ryan is enjoying a real purple match, displaying a footy brain and skill set well beyond his years and other better players were the consistent Cooper Hamilton and reliable defender James McTaggart.