FOR the better part of three quarters, South Mildura were on the verge of the biggest upset of the SFNL season – and then they weren’t.
Irymple star Dan Coghlan found a phone booth, donned his Superman cape and made sure there was no seismic change to the league’s equilibrium as the Swallows, going into the final quarter at Sarah Oval with a one-goal lead, piled on seven unanswered majors and emerge with a somewhat flattering 54-point victory.
It was cruel blow to the Bulldogs, who more than matched their highly rated visitors at the contest and held the lead well into the third term on a slightly spongy pitch where both teams found it hard to adapt.
Sadly for bottom-of-the-table South, their game effort – led by tireless John Jackson, big man Adam Luitjes, primary target Tyler Curtis (three goals), Joshua Holding and Liam Wood – finally broke under the relentless pressure of the best midfield in the league.
Coghlan, who appears to be playing in a different league to everyone else and booted two of his three goals in the final stanza – including a monster punt from well outside the 50-metre arc, headed the charge and was more than ably supported by Michael Dimasi, Nick Mee, co-coach Todd George, James Flack, Ben Duscher, enigmatic forward Nick Pezzaniti (three goals) and rock-solid defender Zac Wandin.
The Swallows are undefeated and a virtual lock for a top-two finish by regular season’s end and, despite Saturday’s slight scare, last year’s grand finalists have now raised their sights.
“We’ve got to the point now where we’ve got to start honing in on the finals,” George said.
“We’ve got about 30 guys who have rotated through the senior squad due to injuries.
“There’s probably about seven or eight spots up for grabs, which is keeping everyone motivated.
“They know that their spots are on the line. If anything, it makes our selection job harder because all of a sudden five or six guys are missing out on a game that deserve to be there.”
That’s a headache Bulldog coach John Pratt, again sidelined by a niggling hamstring injury, can only dream of.
After being thumped the two previous rounds, South Mildura showed the type of tenacity the coach wants but remain very much a work in progress.
“We were really competitive for three quarters but then dropped off in that last,” Pratt said.
“You don’t want to accept that stuff. I know it’s better than what we served up the past two weeks but it’s still disappointing.”
Pratt believes his team’s problems are more mental than physical but is struggling to find a solution.
“It’s a thing that has been happening all year and I don’t know how to fix it at the moment. We just have to work and try harder.
“From where the club has come from to where we are now we have improved out of sight, but there’s obviously that much improvement to go.”
Story and Photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily
The following is the round 11 summary from the weekly footy guide (R12)
Winter came to #3 in a big way last week with the cold, raining, windy weather which resulted in less than desirable conditions to participate in any outdoors sports.
However being a winter sport this is to be expected and we just take it on the chin and get on with it. Favourable results eluded the Doggies camp and it certainly wasn’t through lack of effort, our teams fought out every contest to the final siren.
This week we take on the Robinvale/Euston juggernaut at Euston, another game from the first half of the season that slipped from our senior boys grasp, with absolutely no doubt this is a very winnable game for the doggies that could upset the home teams plans as they look toward September. Every game has to be played on its merit and with some big outs in the home team’s camp you never know. Playing on the Euston ground is almost neutral territory so this game could go either way….bring on 2.30pm this afternoon because it’s going to be on for young and old.
Our U16’s, U18’s and Reserves will all be looking forward to today contests, Good Luck to all our boys playing today.
A-Grade netball will be looking to bounce back this week after last week, the speed at which they move the ball up and down the court was impeded somewhat with the trying conditions of the day, making no excuse our opponent had the better of us on the day. At 12pm today though the gloves are off and Loretta’s Gals will be on like Donkey Kong to bounce back onto the other side of the ledger this week. Good Luck LT and all our Netball teams today.
Again a massive thanks to our sponsors who support our great club….The Mildura Working Man’s Club, Holden Mildura, The Gateway Tavern, Ryan Legal, Tankard Dental, Elders, Trilogy Finance, Mildura Cardiology, MFL, Good Year, Beaurepaires, James Print just to name a few of the many…….The ongoing and valued support you provide is pivotal to our operations.
Some upcoming events to lock away into your calendars is our Gateway Tavern dinner in the Sports Bar after the Merbein game then up to the Zappia Bonfire night on the 20th July. Then the following Saturday the 27th at home is our Mildura Holden Day when we play Ouyen. Paul Shelly and the Mildura Holden team will have the latest models on show at #3 and remember by being a South Mildura Member you can get extra price discounts on all new vehicles.
Then come August 10th our last home game we have our Monster Auction and Sportsman Night that evening with special guest for the day and that evening is ex AFL Collingwood Legend…..Dane Swan………..stay tuned for tickets which will be available soon via table captains………