Barooga Football Club retained the prestigious Cobram Courier Shield at Barooga Recreation Reserve on Saturday, running away from the youthful Cobram side.
The Hawks made the most of their home-ground advantage and looked smooth and polished from the opening whistle.
The team demonstrated great ball-handling skills as it piled on the early goals, but the Tigers were unwilling to let the higher-ranked team have its own way, despite the widening margin on the scoreboard.
Cobram co-coach Josh Noonan said he was disappointed in the loss, but not disappointed in the efforts of his players.
‘‘Barooga got the better of us in the first quarter — they were clinical and we were struggling in the forward line while they capitalised on their players going forward,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘They were getting a result, whereas we were struggling a little bit.
The Tigers fought back with a couple of goals in the second quarter to stay in the contest.
‘‘Barooga made us pay in the third quarter,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘They had the players to get the ball down reasonably quick and score.
‘‘We have a reasonably young side still and they’re probably just lapsing for five minutes here and there, whereas Barooga have got that rebound footy and have finished off with the goals.’’
The Tigers put on a brilliant display at one point in the third term, showing superb teamwork in moves that led to a fifth goal.
‘‘That was a really good team goal,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘I guess that flowed on to the last quarter, where we were obviously able to win that quarter, which was good.
‘‘It was a funny game, with the scoreboard saying one thing, which was a 10-goal defeat, but the way we felt about the game, we always felt we were in the contest, we weren’t really out of it as such.
‘‘We probably just let ourselves down with winning the ball.
‘‘The midfield did really well, especially considering Barooga had a lot bigger midfield group,
‘‘Some of the decision-making and disposals probably let us down.
‘‘You make a mistake and good teams will make you pay. That was probably the long and short of it all.’’
Noonan nominated captain Tyron Baden as the Tigers’ best on the day. Baden is in his third year with the club and his first season as captain.
‘‘He’s really maturing as a footballer. He’s just getting better and better, which is really good to see,’’ Noonan said.
Overall, the Tigers’ coach was philosophical about the loss.
‘‘In the last 15 minutes of the game, we had an opportunity to kick more goals. I know we outscored them in that quarter, but we could have had three or four more goals,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a really good effort. I guess the execution is the kicker that’s hurting us at the moment. If we could reward all that effort, we could be a seven or eight-goal better team.’’
Next week Cobram faces Mulwala at home, while Barooga travels to Finley.
- Grahame Whyte