Border Mail Round 15 – Review
CULCAIRN kept its top-two aspirations flickering after overcoming a woefully inaccurate Holbrook at Culcairn on Saturday.
The Brookers were their own worst enemy in the first-half booting 4.12 while in contrast the Lions seemingly couldn’t miss as they piled on 11.1.
It proved to be the biggest difference as the home side ran out comfortable 18.7 (115) to 11.18 (84) winners despite having four less scoring shots.
The Lions trail second-placed Osborne by four points and percentage with three rounds remaining.
The Brookers slipped from sixth to seventh and face a red-hot Osborne on Saturday in a match which is likely to have a huge bearing on their finals fate.
Matt Sharp’s charges produced one of the upsets of the season last week after they claimed the prized scalp of defending premier Brock-Burrum.
They may need a similar performance against the Tigers to stay alive in the finals race.
Culcairn coach Josh Hillary was relieved to emerge with the four points against such a desperate opponent.
“I thought we started the match relatively well which we needed to do because Holbrook had a lot to play for as far as its finals aspirations,” Hillary said.
“They were coming off a huge win the previous week but we also had a bit to play for and haven’t given up hope of finishing in the top-two.”
Holbrook went into the clash undermanned, missing skipper Josh Jones, Aaron Baker, Corey McCarthy, Luke Carman, Brock Knights and David Tassell.
With such a hefty injury toll, Ewan Mackinlay made his senior debut for the Brookers.
The 16-year-old didn’t disappoint and made one of the most promising debut’s in recent memory.
Mackinlay was lively early and kicked a classy goal from 40m in the first term.
He also bobbed up with two goals in the third term when the Brookers were mounting a serious fightback.
The talented teenager emerged as the Brookers’ best player and capped a polished display with four goals.
Culcairn’s attack was the most potent it had been so far this season with Adam Prior back to his dangerous best.
In an ominous sign, Prior booted eight goals and his form during finals will have a huge bearing on how deep the Lions progress in September.
Dennis Pedemont also provided a strong marking target deep in attack.
Lion match-winner Jye Shields did his Azzi medal chances no harm, with another polished display.
OSBORNE showed it’s on course for another successful September campaign after stunning reigning premier Brock-Burrum by 43 points at Osborne on Saturday.
Izaac McDonnell nullified Sedgwick while young gun Michael Driscoll broke even with the competition’s most feared big-man.
Bill Alexander kicked three goals in his 50th match, Duncan McMaster was strong in defence and only inaccurate kicking stopped Connor Galvin from kicking a bag.
Brock-Burrum looked flat for the second successive week with Josh Koschitzke, John-Roy Williams, Tyson Neander forced to do the bulk of the heavy lifting.
Howlong caused its second surprise in three weeks by defeating Billabong Crows by 22 points at Oaklands.
Pencil-thin forward Blake Lieschke starred in the Giants’ win over Lockhart.