Border Mail Round 16 – Review
A RESURGENT Holbrook proved why it is the wildcard in the Hume league finals race after snatching a thrilling draw against flag contender Osborne at Holbrook on Saturday.
Despite having more scoring shots than their fancied opponents, the Brookers trailed by three points at the final change.
With their finals aspirations on the line the Brookers kicked the only goal of the final quarter but still trailed by one point with less than a minute to go.
Andrew Dear had the chance to be a hero for the home side when he lined up from 40m out tucked up near the boundary.
His set shot clipped the inside of the goal post to level the scores.
The final siren sounded shortly after play was restarted with the two sides splitting the premiership points.
Despite not getting the four points Holbrook replaced Henty inside the top-six after it proved no match for Brock-Burrum.
The Swampies now have to rely on the Brookers slipping up against Billabong Crows or CDHBU to force their way back into finals contention.
The Brookers have upset Brock-Burrum, suffered a hard-fought loss against Culcairn and forced a draw against the Tigers in the past three weeks.
The prospect of facing the Brookers in a cut-throat final would have rivals nervous.
Coach Matt Sharp said the Brookers would happily take the two points with their finals destiny now back in their own hands.
“We would have obviously loved to win but we’ll take the draw which keeps our finals destiny in our hands,” Sharp said.
“The last three weeks has been season defining and we have proved we can more than match it with the league heavyweights.
“We identified that Osborne were fast starters but they still jumped as early and got out to a handy lead in the first-quarter.
“We have got six or seven kids that are under-20 and I couldn’t be more proud of how they are developing.
“A draw is always a funny feeling in that you haven’t won but you haven’t lost either.”
Osborne shot out to an early lead as it dominated the first-quarter.
Coach Matt Rava, Declan O’Rourke and Will Ryan were instrumental in the visitors opening up a 20-point buffer.
The Tigers were dealt a blow when veteran Hayden Gleeson was forced off with a cut calf in the second term.
Teammate Sam Livingstone joined Gleeson on the sidelines in the third-quarter after he copped a heavy knock and suffered concussion.
With only one man on the bench the Brookers slowly worked their way back into the contest mainly through the efforts of Sharp, Will Holmes, Jacob Way and Corey McCarthy.
The Tigers were missing Duncan McMaster who was unavailable.
Brooker Brendan Dess was a late withdrawal before the match with illness.
Thy were also missing Duncan Trethowan, Josh Jones and Aaron Baker from their strongest line-up.
BILLABONG Crows put some scratchy form behind them with an impressive 21-point win over Rand-Walbundrie-Walla at Walla on Saturday.
Al Austin was rock solid in defence and Nick Brockley always looked ominous with three goals playing deep in attack.
The Giants closed the gap to six points midway through the final term through good play from Daniel Lieschke, Jack and Chris Duck and Anthony Hartshorn but they were unable to close out the game.
The Crows have jumped to fourth spot and play a crucial match against Holbrook on Saturday.