IMPERIALS and South Mildura are teams heading in opposite directions rapidly.
The Imps’ 14-goal thrashing of the Bulldogs at City Oval firmed the hosts place in the top three while sending their neighbour spiraling to the bottom of the ladder.
In a scrappy affair played predominantly in the middle third of the field and, as per tradition, mainly on the outer side of the ground, Imperials had first use of the breeze and went into the first break with a 28-point lead.
When the Dogs could only reduce the deficit by a point going into the main break, the result was easy to predict.
The visitors’ capitulation in the second half was not as easy to see.
South had worked hard up to that stage in the contests but the Imperials’ Hards brothers, Brad and Ryan, David Hankin and Jayden Fox overshadowed them and also had the advantage of a strong forward target in Jarrod McNally, who finished the day with six goals.
After half-time, the Bulldogs managed all of five points while Imps’ relentlessness saw them put on another 10 goals.
The win sees Imps two games clear of nearest ladder rivals Merbein and Ouyen United – a useful buffer as the race for the finals starts to take shape.
“I was really pleased with the four-quarter performance,” Imperial coach Adam Hartlett said.
“I told this group of lads that I just need you to play a role, I don’t need you to have 40 touches, I don’t need you to kick 10 goals, I just need you to play a role for us structurally and we were able to do that for most parts of the day.”
While not looking too far ahead, Hartlett is cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the season.
“We just need to play four quarters the way we want to play and against those really good sides. We showed against Ouyen United last week and Irymple and Robinvale Euston that we are good enough for three quarters but we just can’t put the sides away.”
Optimism is not something that is exactly bubbling forth in the Bulldogs’ camp and coach John Pratt expects the selection knife to be wielded before this week’s clash with top-of-the-table Irymple.
“If we lose playing the structure I am trying to implement, I can wear that,” Pratt said.
“But we just aren’t doing that at the moment. It’s a work in progress and we are not going to get there overnight … but I expect everyone that runs out on that field to perform so there will be a few changes for next week.”
Vice-captain Domenic Scullino battled manfully in defence – as did Deklan Loveridge and Indigo Howell – and Joshua Holding and Dallas Holmes were strong at the midfield contests, but they simply didn’t have enough help.
Story and photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily
The following is the round 10 summary from the weekly footy guide (R11)
Well our Bulldog Black Tie ball went off with a bang last Saturday night with over 140 guests enjoying themselves after a big day at #1………..A massive thank you to all members that contributed into making the night one to remember, also a big thank you to Sam and the staff at the Workers who were flat out for most of the night, the Workers being one of our major sponsors accommodated the evening without any hitches and we look forward to their continued support.
Moving on to round 11 we face off again with Irymple this time at home, last we met on Good Friday the senior boys held their own for a good 2 quarters and then faded out in the second half. After the last 2 weeks we are up against it, Irymple have certainly cemented themselves into the top 2 and would be a genuine contender to be playing off in the last game come September. Today our guys just need to stand up and be counted, way too many passengers have been identified throughout the week not be playing to their full potential over the last 2 weeks, today these guys need to prove something not only to themselves but to their opposition that it’s going to be a Dog fight and that they will not just lay down and concede. We are under no illusions that we have our backs against the wall and look forward to the huge game in front of us at 2.30pm today.
Our Netballers had mixed results across all grades last week. A-Grade came out on top with a comfortable win. Today at 12pm our ladies play host to an Irymple team that last time we met had a close encounter…..today will no doubt be the same with another great game ahead for these 2 very capable teams.
Overall our mid season results have been great in areas but very poor in others, continued effort and hard work will bring the results that have starved us for some time. Our board, committee members and volunteers work tirelessly of the field making sure that all bases are covered come game day….a big thank you to all those people who fly under the radar but are integral to the club functioning smoothly……..We look forward to hosting Irymple today and good luck to all Netball and Football teams competing today…….
The Barking Bulldog