IT was a day when Wentworth could have cemented their credentials as a legitimate top-four contender.
At the end of a tough battle with South Mildura at Sarah Oval, the Roos emerged with a 19-point victory and four valuable points but more questions were raised than answered by the team clinging to fourth place on the SFNL ladder.
After a lightning quick goal to start the game by the Bulldogs’ Indigo Howell, Wentworth worked their way into the lead but never full control of the game and the hosts even managed to reduce the margin to a goal going into the final quarter.
However, three majors shared by potent forwards Wade Hancock and Andrew Wall, who finished with three apiece, made sure bottom-of-the-table South weren’t going to pull off an upset and severely damage ambitious Wentworth’s finals hopes.
Fifth-placed Merbein lurk four points behind the Roos with a game in hand and slightly better percentage and who knows how hot-cold sides Mildura and Ouyen United will perform down the home straight? But Wentworth coach Sam Curran was just happy his side had its fate in its own hands.
“It’s pretty disappointing the way we went about it today, no fluency,” Curran said.
“South probably looked the better side over the four quarters. They moved the ball better, took the game on and had a bit more run. We were just consistently turning the football over.
“But we got those four points and we hold our spot in the four for the moment. The reality for us is we have to win at least two of our last four games to stay in the four. If we don’t win (this week against Mildura), we have to win two out of three.
“We have won three in a row and the side is maturing. The old us might have lost that game today.”
Colin Andrews, Jack Carter, Cambell Davison, Joshua Dean, Kaine Behr and Dion Harris provided plenty of drive throughout the day but they were almost stalemated by South coach John Pratt, off half-back, Nathan Turley, John Jackson, Deklan Loveridge, Howell and forward target Tyler Curtis, who finished with three goals.
For Pratt, there’s no such thing as a “good loss”, but there is “improved performance”.
“Early in the year we were having big fade-outs and now we were competitive in that last quarter today against a pretty good side,” Pratt said. “I thought after half-time we were good.
“They ended up with 17 points, so their inaccuracy kept us in the game, but there were a lot of good signs for us, particularly with our young guys.
“We are playing a pretty exciting style of football and starting to gel. You always want to win but we also want to be competitive each game, we don’t want to be a side that’s a pushover.
“Obviously finals are out of the question for us but we are looking at the bigger picture and this is a two to three-year plan for us.
“The rest of this season is all about looking forward and being competitive.”
Story & photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily
Photos courtesy of Football Mildura FB
The following is the round 13 summary from the weekly footy guide (R14)
Firstly, thank you to Aboriginal Elders Ada Peterson and Uncle Peter for conducting the welcome to country and smoking ceremonies at #3 last Saturday, the first time that this has been done at our ground.
Indigenous round was special in more ways than one as this was our annual Terry Dean Shield round vs Wentworth. Terry Dean became a life member at both clubs in 1967 and 1980 respectively, a stalwart at both clubs in every facet of the game. Every season the 2nd meeting between our sides battle out for the right to hold the shield for the next 12 months, it was half time in the seniors and with all other Netball and Football results in we were in a deadlock of 7 ½ points each for wins vs losses for the days games….…..the ½ point each was due to the U18 game being a draw with the result finishing on 49 apiece. It came down to the last game of the day that was anyone’s guess as to which way it would go. It is history now and it will show the cards fell the way of Wentworth. The shield was presented to Josh Dean in the after game presentations, until next season when we meet again.
Moving forward to this week and we head out to Kenny Park to take on the Merbein Magpies, our last encounter way back in round 5 will show we led all day in the seniors until that final siren…….today the boys are looking to reverse the result and snatch victory from the magpie nest, stay tuned at 2.30pm today.
A-Grade Netball took a hit last week at the hands of Wentworth for the second time this season so our ladies will be out to get one back today at 12pm…….a big in is going to be our #1 goal shooter in Demi Toms after a few weeks away.
This week we also have taken on board with Merbein the very important message and awareness on supporting and looking for the signs that some people around our clubs and the community in general may be suffering as a result of suicide. This is not a nice subject to discuss but it is a very real problem in today’s society and has been prevalent in our community in recent months. Always remember that support is available and if you feel your not on you’re A-Game reach out, if you think someone is in need of some support ask if they would like to talk, a friendly smile and a listening ear is all it takes to know that a situation or a problem may not be as bad as you think. Good Luck to all teams today and lets make it a great day…..
The Barking Bulldog