COBDEN coach Adam Courtney is pleased to see the improvement shown by his playing group despite suffering a fifth consecutive loss to South Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Bombers were able to kick their highest score for the year and were able to produce a more competitive performance even though they were still well beaten 14.10 (94) to 6.8 (44).
Putting the disappointment of losing aside, Courtney said he was happy to see the progress shown by his playing group across the opening five rounds.
“We’ve definitely made improvements from round one to round five, but it’s just been about continually working on our game plan and being accountable through the midfield,” he said.
“That was the major thing that stepped up was our accountability on their midfielders, we knew we had to shut them down and not give their forwards easy supply like we had been giving up.
“We were able to shut them down through Paul Pekin, Charlie Darcy, Louis Cahill, Ash Rosolin and Ryleigh McVilly, they were all pretty good.”
The match saw South kick away early with a four goal breeze, before the Bombers pegged their lead back in the second term.
The process then repeated itself it the final half, with Courtney happy with how his side fought out the contest after trailing heavily entering the last term.
“I think there were only three goals (kicked by South at the 20 minute mark of the first quarter) and then they kicked some late goals and that’s three weeks in a row we’ve given up late goals which hurt,” Courtney said.
“In the second quarter we had plus 10 inside 50s but we just couldn’t capitalise by kicking goals, they dropped someone back and clogged the ball up around our half forward line and we couldn’t capitalise.
“In the third quarter again they had the breeze again and capitalised better than us. But the best thing (was) in the last quarter we just kept going and kept trying and we were able to kick a few goals.
“We still got rolled by eight goals but if it wasn’t for a couple of dropped chest marks and missed a couple of easy goals we should have probably kicked 10 or 11.”
Overall, Courtney said the match was Cobden’s most competitive of the year “by a long way”.
He said “we were able to control the ball for lot longer periods of the game and we didn’t give up as many turnovers through the middle”, something he had wanted his side to become better at.
“Obviously at the moment we’re not playing an exciting brand of football by not taking the game on as much,” he said.
“But until we can get good at kicking the ball through the middle of the ground and taking risks we’re going to have to play that down the line football a little bit until we can get that confidence going.
“But once our confidence picks up and we’re able to get a few wins in the coming weeks then their natural confidence will pick up and they’ll take that on (the exciting game style).”
Tomas Lindquist was named best on ground after kicking four goals and while Courtney was happy with his performance, it was a quartet of other players who drew his praise.
“Louis Cahill probably played his best game for the year, he was really clean around the middle of the ground and he gave us a lot of drive inside 50,” Courtney said.
“Ryleigh McVilly is another young one, it was only his second game, but he really stepped up and he was also very clean.
“We moved Christian Koroneos down back and even though Shannon Beks kicked four goals I thought he did a pretty good job on him.
“And Jack McGlade played his best game for the year, but with Jack his training has been improving and he’s been training really well and it’s carrying into the games.”
The Bombers will now have a week’s break ahead of a night game against Portland at Cobden Recreation Reserve on May 25, with the playing group to train as normal over the next two weeks.
On the netball court, it was not pretty but Cobden’s open side found a way to come out on top of South Warrnambool last Saturday.
Although the scoreboard looked to show a comfortable 53-39 win to the Bombers, coach Mel Starr conceded it was anything but a strong performance.
“It was great to get another win,” she said.
“It was probably not the best game we’ve played but it was good to see the girls chip away and build at their margin.”
Starr attributed the drop in the performance to the conditions, with intermittent drizzle causing problems on South’s netball courts.
While it failed to derail the Bombers’ winning run, it did allow unforced errors to creep into their game.
“The courts were very slippery and that forced us to be a bit messy,” she said.
“I don’t think it was anything we did (deliberately) instead it was other things that caused us problems.”
The conditions failed to limit the impact of Jess Wheadon and Alicia Blain with the pair named as Cobden’s best players.
Wheadon was impressive in a variety of positions, while Blain was rock solid in defence for her side.
“Jess Wheadon did a brilliant job for us across three different positions and Alicia Blain had a really good game in defence,” Starr said.
The win took Cobden’s record to 5-0 and Starr said the playing group was pleased to enter the interleague break undefeated and on top of the ladder.
She said the vibe amongst the group was really strong, with each player wanting to better themselves as they strive to cement themselves in the competition’s top three.
“You wouldn’t not be happy with being five and zero and the girls are just doing everything to improve themselves which is great to see,” Starr said.
“The team spirit we have is a real positive.”