KOLORA Noorat improved its premiership chances with an important victory over Nirranda in round 15 of Warrnambool and District league senior football last Saturday.
The Power, who were returning from the bye and a loss to Timboon Demons two weeks prior bounced back against the Blues at Noorat Recreation Reserve, recording an 11 point win.
Power assistant coach Ben Walsh took charge of the side in the absence of regular mentor Danny Finn, but the reigning premier was unfazed by the change as they stunned the Blues early.
The home side kicked five unanswered goals to lead by 29 points at quarter time, before the Blues started to work their way back into the match in the second term.
Kolora Noorat entered the main change four goals ahead but once again kicked clear of the Blues in the third term, keeping Nirranda goalless in a quarter for the second time of the match.
The Power was 42 points up at the start of the last term, but the Blues quickly cut the margin back with two early goals.
The momentum appeared to be in Nirranda’s favour as they continued to hit the scoreboard, adding a further three goals to reduce the margin to less than two majors.
However, Kolora Noorat held strong late in the final term, repelling the Blues’ advances to win 11.8 (74) to 9.9 (63).
Jake Richardson was named best afield for the Power with the likes of Scott Judd, Jason Moloney, Luke Tebble, Luke Justin and Ash McCorkell all playing well.
Luke Justin was also influential, kicking three goals to be his side’s leading goal kicker.
The Power remains third after the win, four points clear of South Rovers ahead of a clash with Merrivale this weekend.
In the reserves, the Power suffered a 10.8 (68) to 8.2 (50) defeat.
The Blues erased a nine point three quarter time deficit, finishing the match stronger than the Power to snare the four points.
Jake O’Flynn, Paul McSween, Tyler Beasley (two goals), Matt Harkin, Jarrod Esh and Aaron Robertson all performed well for the Power.
The under 17.5s defeated the Blues 11.8 (74) to 1.0 (6).
The Power kept the Blues goalless in the opening half to set up the victory, with the side’s double chance hopes potentially determined this weekend against the Tigers
Isaac Kenna kicked four goals for Kolora Noorat and was named in the best players alongside Ned Payne, Jack Aitken, Nathan Wyss, Charlie Scanlon and Ryley Hutchins.
And Riley Scanlon booted 10 majors to lead the under 14.5s to a comfortable 27.9 (171) to 1.1 (7).
The Power started strongly and gave the Blues little opportunity in the win, extending their unbeaten record to 12 wins.
Scanlon was named best on ground for his efforts, while Jack Carlin, Nicholas Castersen, Declan Barbary, Henry Kenna and Jehrin Bateman all finished in the best players.
On the netball court, Kolora Noorat went down to A grade competition pacesetter Nirranda.
The Power was competitive in the opening term despite the Blues racing out to an early 15-9 lead.
However, Nirranda was able to push further ahead in the second quarter, extending their advantage to 14 goals at half-time with a 15-7 term.
The Blues seized complete control across the court after half-time, restricting Kolora Noorat to two goals and adding 13 of their own to lead by 25 at the final change.
While the match was effectively over at the start of the last quarter, the Power finished the game strongly.
They outscored the Blues 13-5 in the last quarter to reduce the margin to 17 goals as the Blues triumphed 48-31.
Goal shooter Lillie Bourke (25 goals) was best on court for the Power, with Aylish Frusher and Emma Lucas also performing strongly.
The Power takes on Merrivale this weekend, in what is a winnable game for the side.
In the other grades, the Power recorded three wins, a draw and a loss against the Blues.
A reserve went down 31-26 to Nirranda after leading at three quarter time.
The lead changed hands several times across the match, with the Power holding a one goal lead heading into the final term, before the Blues finished the better of the two sides.
Grace Lee, Eliza Smith and Jacinta Tolland were named the Power’s best players.
In B grade, the Power held on in a close tussle with the Blues to record a narrow 26-25 victory.
Kolora Noorat led by a goal at three quarter time and held its nerve late to ensure they took home the four points.
Lexi Johnstone was best on court for Kolora Noorat while Linda Kenna and Lisa Dillon both played well.
The 17 and under side played out a 28-28 draw with the Blues.
Kolora Noorat trailed at half-time but worked its way to the front in the third term, before both sides finished deadlocked at the final whistle.
Zoe Wilkinson, Kasey Bant and Tori Hutchins were Kolora Noorat’s best players.
In the 15 and under match, the Power won 21-17 over the Blues.
The Power were too strong in the second half of the match after trailing at half-time, recording their second win of the season against the higher ranked Nirranda team.
Jessica Beasley was the Power’s best player and received strong support from Eleanor Pekin and Tess Aitken.
And the 13 and under side registered a strong 23-8 win.
The Power set up the victory in the opening half, setting up a 10 goal lead which they had extended to 15 goals by the final siren
Elizabeth Justin, Amelia Horan and Chloe Pearson were the side’s best players.