On a day when the mercury struggled to get into double figures and players and supporters were still recovering from a busy field day volunteering schedule, Eastern Ranges hosted Cowell at Cleve for the final minor round of matches for season 2012.
In the first half it looked as though the Ranges goalkicking coach Don “is good” Bailey had cured the yips that have plagued the forwards at times this year with the halftime score a respectable 14 – 4 spread across 10 goalkickers; but 13 points after the long break was another VB effort.
Rhett Morrow (VB Bailey’s love child) led the charge of those that found their radar with seven goals after being unleashed from the bench in the second quarter (4 of them coming in a stellar third quarter).
Kane Schubert, who is bred to be ultra reliable (being by Gaffer Tape out of Cable Tie) played both back and forward (three goals) during the course of the day and is set to play a major role in the looming finals series.
The other tall forwards (Damien Hannemann and Tom Forrest) were also effective on the day sharing five majors and creating contests all day.
Rhyce Beinke, like his fellow centre line/midfielders in Joel Nield, Alex Sampson (who is in great touch) and Jack Kenny kicked two goals in a lively return performance from a broken toe.
Teddy Roberts has likely cemented his place in front of goal where he has been a revelation with strong leads and some great grabs – his ability to time his leap and take the ball at full stretch one grab is a defenders worst nightmare – certainly looking forward to more of the same over the finals.
Brent Gray has the “footy smarts” and the reach of the proverbial and used them both to telling effect around the ground – he is also good at ground level, is a cool thinker through traffic and a goalkicker.
All in all the Ranges should be happy earning a weeks rest and going into the finals with virtually a full list for selectors to muse over.
In five games with Kimba there have been two decisive results for and two decisive against with the fifth game decided by a solitary point; so we should be excited about a competitive finals campaign which begins in two weeks at Port Neill.
Cowell will come up against Ports at Kimba this week and will likely struggle.
On Saturday they again had two standout contributors in Captain Coach Wayne Piggott and Tyler Franklin but the support has been short of the mark.
It is asking a lot of the likes of Nick Martens, Alec Klingberg, Klay Smith and Nathan Mills to play those support roles when they have played a full game of colts football only 90 minutes earlier in the day.
But the upside is pretty positive, those lads (and a couple of others) will be fully fledged senior players next year and are set to be exciting and valuable A Grade players for Cowell in 2013 and beyond.
The Ranges B grade were dominant in a contest that went to script, Zac Murphy was the go to forward on the day and he finished with eight for the day, Paul Peters added two, to be this seasons leading goalkicker in the B grade competition with a better than four-goal average or 66 goals over 15 rounds and Blake Nield transitioned from reliable backman to damaging centreman in the blink of an eye.
The B grade have, like the A grade enjoyed a great rivalry with Kimba during the year and this will extend to another high standard, entertaining game in two week’s time where it will be a brave soul who tips either way.