Barooga Football Club is on a high this week after a stunning win over higher-placed Numurkah on Saturday.
The Hawks stunned the Blues with an impressive final quarter, sealing victory at Barooga Recreation Reserve with a 13-point final siren margin.
There were some nervous moments for Hawks supporters during the match, none more so than in the third term, with Numurkah piling on 5.3 to Barooga’s 3.2, and the Blues taking the lead for a short time.
At that stage it looked like the Blues could go on with it to take the match, in line with their pre-game status.
The Hawks soared under pressure though, and more accurate kicking for the tall white sticks saw them regain the momentum that had been shaken by a resurgent Numurkah.
Blues non-playing coach Chris O’Dwyer said Barooga deserved the win.
‘‘We didn’t start off how we wanted — there were two sides,’’ O’Dwyer said.
‘‘Barooga wanted to win the match and we hoped we could win the match.
‘‘We were a bit flat from the week before; we just got off a big win against Nathalia that we haven’t beaten for the last four or five years.
‘‘They’ve won the last seven premierships out of 11, so Nathalia have been the side to beat and we were a bit cavalier at training during the course of the week.
‘‘We sensed that in the playing group and we addressed it but it didn’t seem to make any difference.
‘‘We were on the back foot and Barooga hit us early with credit to them — they were really good in the first half, they were all over us.’’
O’Dwyer said his team kicked in during the second half but then had to play catch-up footy.
‘‘There was a breeze in the game that did have a factor in the result — it was too little too late for us,’’ he said.
‘‘When we were a goal up in the third quarter we thought we were a genuine chance to come home.
‘‘We were pushing into a nasty breeze which wasn’t helping our cause and we said to ourselves as a group at three-quarter-time we would apply positive footy, not defensive — and we didn’t.
‘‘To the credit of the boys our last half was really good.
‘‘We’ll take a bit out of that, but Barooga were too good on the day.
‘‘I think it was a game of quarters — whoever was kicking with the breeze generally had the advantage and we didn’t take advantage early on — Barooga capitalised on it.
‘‘We have to play on Barooga’s ground, that’s something we spoke about before the game, we need to play well there.’’
O’Dwyer said the Blues had a genuine belief they could win at three-quarter-time.
‘‘We gave ourselves all the opportunities but Barooga had all the answers and they were better on the day and thoroughly deserved the win,’’ he said.
‘‘They were a lot hungrier than us — they got off to a good start and it took us until half-time to get going.
‘‘It’s a split round over next two weeks so we’ve got a week off which is nice and we plan to get over some injuries and freshen up and play Mulwala.
‘‘It’s a huge game for us, if we can pencil that one in it doesn’t guarantee us top two, but it’s certainly pretty close.
‘‘Leading to the finals, we’ve got a tough draw, which suits us fine — we know exactly where we are.’’
●Meanwhile, Cobram Tigers excelled against Tongala in their away game on Saturday, with a 44-point victory.
- Grahame Whyte