COLBINABBIN proved far too strong for Lockington-Bamawm United in Saturday’s Heathcote and District Football League action, claiming an 83-point win.
The game put an experienced, top three side against a younger team still looking to take the next step, and the difference showed from the start as the Hoppers quickly took control of the game to cement third position on the ladder.
The Cats improved throughout the contest but couldn’t shut down the dangerous Hoppers in falling to their 11th loss of the season, a record still seeing them sit sixth in the league.
LBU coach Peter Gibbs thought his team fought on well, but gave plenty of credit to what he saw as a dangerous Colbinabbin side.
‘‘I honestly think Colbo played the best team brand of football I’ve seen in the competition,’’ he said.
‘‘They probably don’t have the depth of talent of the top two sides, but they’re right with them.’’
Gibbs found Colbinabbin’s smart style of football was too much for the young Cats to overcome.
‘‘It makes it really hard to play under pressure, their setup behind the football is very good,’’ he said.
‘‘You need to work through their setup, but in the first quarter we didn’t stick to our structure.
‘‘After the first, we made it a contest, but Colbo is smart enough to know you don’t all need to be going at the ball.’’
At Colbinabbin’s MJ Morgan Reserve, the Hoppers had the best of the first-half with 16 scoring shots to six, 45-points ahead at half-time with LBU’s 1.5 return in front of goal a problem.
The Cats lifted in the third quarter with two goals but struggled to limit Colbinabbin, who showed off a wide array of weapons up forward with 12 of its 22 players kicking a goal.
The Hoppers butchered some chances to blow the Cats away further with 4.7 (31) in the final term, but were still able to take a huge victory, 16.18 (114) to 4.7 (31).
Gibbs said breaking down the Colbinabbin press was difficult for his players, but he was pleased by the side’s ability to make the game more of a contest after quarter-time, particularly by finding a better balance between contested and uncontested football.
Meyrick Buchanan had another super game for LBU, a goal in a best on ground performance adding to his strong back half of the season.
Jordan Brown, Zeik Johnston and Hayden Mitchell were the other goalscorers, Liam Main, Gavin Broad and Nathan Dyson the side’s other standout contributors.
Gibbs spoke highly of Johnston’s negating role on Colbinabbin playing coach Nick Knight, who he said is the Hoppers’ key to linking their side together.
The Cats have one final challenge for the 2017 season, and it will be potentially the toughest task in the league currently; Leitchville-Gunbower away from home.
The Bombers have ran through sides in recent weeks, the Cats looking to improve on their round nine performance against them when they went down by 129-points.