Tigers claw back

June 22, 2017

Milestone: Barooga Football Club co-coach James Hazelman celebrated his 200th club game on the weekend.

It was a close encounter with Rumbalara on Saturday in the Murray Football League, but Cobram steadied the ship in time for it to seal a 20-point win, 15.14(104) to 13.6(84).

Rumba held a two-goal lead at the first break, but a five-goal haul from Cobram turned that around for the Tigers to lead at the main break by 14 points.

A seven-goal streak from Rumba in the third quarter saw them take a two-point lead into the final term, but the Tigers were determined and held Rumba to just one goal while scoring four of their own in the final quarter to take the win.

In another stellar performance, Darcy McCormack booted four for the Tigers, with Ben Ryan and Sam Gemmill contributing three and another two from Scott Spencer.

Their efforts in front of the goal posts earned them all nods for best-on-ground performances, along with Tyron Baden, who continues to impress and scored a goal of his own.

This week, Cobram will be hoping to capitalise on its win when it travels to play second-placed Numurkah.

â—ŹBarooga had its wings clipped by Echuca United on Saturday, with the Eagles posting one of the major upsets of the Murray Football League round against the match favourites, 8.9(57) to 5.11(41).

In a relatively unusual low-scoring outing for the Hawks, defensive pressure from Echuca kept the Hawks’ leading goal kickers quiet in front of the goal posts.

Will Gorman and Cal Leighton-Daly slotted two majors, while Tyrone Baden chipped in with another.

Co-coach James Hazelman, celebrating his 200th club match, put in a strong performance to garner some best-on-ground recognition, along with Lucas Olson, Cam Sandral, Dion Metzner Jack O’Callaghan and Billy Andrew.

Hazelman played junior football with the Hawks in 2001 in the under-14s team, and returned to the Hawks’ nest in 2016 to play senior football, where he’s stayed ever since.

‘‘(The 200 games) was something I’m pretty proud of, it’s something that doesn’t happen too often these days at the one club,’’ he said.

‘‘Later on when I finish up, it’s going to be great to have this to look back on.’’

He said Barooga was a fantastic club to play for. After playing in three grand finals early on with the club, he’s hoping he’ll soon get the chance to hoist the premiership cup as a Hawk.

‘‘Early on when I came out to the club, I played in a couple of grand finals, one in reserves and two in seniors in 2007 and 2008, which we lost,’’ he said.

‘‘I thought if I ever left, I’d be dirty if they won one without me!

‘‘I’ve got a lot of mates here all in the same boat, it’s a big driving factor for me at the moment.’’

Hazelman said while it was nice to get recognition for his efforts on the ground, he would have liked to have a win.

‘‘It’s very disappointing for us, two weeks ago we were sitting equal top, and we’ve now slipped to fourth, it’s sort of an indication of where we’re at at the moment.

‘‘Ultimately I would have liked to win the game, it’s put us back with the pack and made it a little harder to finish in the top two for that double chance at finals.’’

The team spoke about the game at training on Monday night in preparation for their clash with Tongala this weekend.

‘‘We’ve put a few things in place to get back on track — we’re not doing a lot wrong, but we do have a few things to improve on,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘Our big focus at the moment is to have a 21-man effort on the field during the game.’’

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