TERANG Mortlake suffered a second consecutive defeat this time at the hands of Cobden in their round 12 Hampden league football clash last Saturday.
Only two points separated the two sides at quarter time before the Bombers pulled away in the second and third terms to set up a 12.14 (86) to 9.8 (62) victory.
Post match, Bloods coach Michael Sargeant said the task at hand was always going to be harder with several key players unavailable heading into the encounter.
“We were really disappointed,” he said.
“But on the flip side, when you sit back and have a look at it and you have six or seven of your best 10 players missing, it makes it hard.”
After an even opening term in which both sides kicked three goals, it was the Bombers who were able to hit the scoreboard hard in the second term.
However, inaccuracy kept the Bloods in the contest as Cobden kicked a wasteful 2.7 to Terang Mortlake’s 1.2 to take a 16 point lead into half-time.
Sargeant said the Bloods were well in the contest in the opening quarter and a half but when the match appeared up for grabs, he said it was Cobden who seized control.
“In the first quarter and half we were playing pretty well,” he said.
“But to Cobden’s credit, they went up a gear and we stagnated.
“Once they got a run on, they were hard to stop.”
Cobden kicked further ahead in the third term, booting 4.1 to 2.0 to push their lead out to 29 points at the final change.
The Bloods outscored the Bombers 3.2 to 2.3 in the final quarter but Cobden had already done enough earlier in the match to secure a handy win.
Sargeant said the biggest different between the two sides on Saturday was the Bombers’ ability to win the ball on the inside and then use it well by hand and foot.
He said on the occasions the Bloods won the ball at the source, they “turned it over” which allowed the Bombers to capitalise on their mistakes.
Further compounding the Bloods’ and Sargeant’s woes was an injury to defender Joel Crawley in the warm-up before Saturday’s match.
That left Terang Mortlake a rotation down just minutes into the game, with the severity of Crawley’s injury still unknown.
Sargeant said Chris Bant was Terang Mortlake’s best player on Saturday, with the Bloods assistant influencing the contest despite minimal opportunity.
“He (Chris) played forward and had limited opportunities but kicked four goals,” he said.
Jordie McKenzie was also another standout according to Sargeant, while a returning senior player also drew praise from the coach.
“Tom McKenzie in his first senior game since round one, he held his own,” Sargeant said.
Terang Mortlake is expected to regain Alex Moloney and Nick Couch, while Isaac Wareham may also play if available for the crucial clash with Warrnambool at Terang Recreation Reserve this weekend.
The Blues have been one of the form sides of the competition recently and are coming off a handy win over Port Fairy.
The Bloods on the other hand will be looking to bounce back quickly and Sargeant said his players had quickly turned their attention from last week to the upcoming challenge with the Blues.
He wants to see his side display a more daring game style against the Blues, but knows his side needs to improve their effort to win the ball on the inside to do so.
“Obviously we’ve got to focus on getting in first to the ball and taking the game on,” Sargeant said.
“We’ll be prepared to take a few more risks.”
The Bloods were successful in the two remaining football matches on Saturday, with the reserves winning by 39 points and the under 18.5s prevailing by five.
The 10.8 (68) to 4.5 (29) reserves victory was the Bloods’ ninth of the season, with the side kicking away from the Bombers in the final term.
Ben Finnerty was best on ground for Terang Mortlake, while Macauley Carlin, Matthew Arundell, Jordan Harris, Jake Lee and Zac Newson also played well.
Patrick Bourke was the best of the goal kickers, finishing with three, while Martin Wynd and Matthew Arundell each kicked two apiece.
The under 18.5s won 6.8 (44) to 5.9 (39) to keep their finals hopes alive, with the triumph reducing the Bombers’ buffer in fifth position to just four points.
William Kain, Bradley Lucas, Jordan Cavarsan, James Moloney, Harry Kain and Harry O’Sullivan all played well for the Bloods in the victory.
William Kain was the only multiple goal kicker with two with Ryan Tanner, Jack Lehmann, Lochie Cook and O’Sullivan also kicking a goal each.