Tungamah has booked a grand final berth with a comprehensive win over Waaia.By Matthew Galea
Tungamah booked its place in the Picola District Football League south-east grand final with an impressive performance to earn a 56-point win over Waaia.
The signs were ominous for any would-be challengers as well, according to Waaia coach Greg Meyland.
‘‘They’re just so fast,’’ Meyland said.
‘‘We’re a big tall marking side .
Barring a below-par opening 20 minutes, Tungamah’s pace, power and accuracy was just too much for the Bombers, who by no means looked a side that deserved to lose by almost 10 goals.
In fact, Waaia was impressive and its pressure was perhaps as much to blame for Tungamah’s poor start as the Bears were themselves.
In Luke Cowan the Bombers had a dependable target in the forward line, kicking two goals from two chances in the opening period, finishing the game with five, while Brendan Stevens and Geoff Hopkins fought hard all day.
An unreal chase-down and tackle from Tungamah’s Corey Hicks, who made up at least 20
The Bears won the second-quarter arm-wrestle to take a nine-point lead into half-time, but they found another level after the break that the Bombers just could not reach, much to the delight of Payne, particularly after such a tough first half.
‘‘When your back’s against the wall, these boys will respond,’’ Payne said.
‘‘I don’t know if (the slow start) came down to having the week off, but Waaia were fantastic early and they were really hard at it.
‘‘It’s great to give yourself a chance to play in the grand final without having to use the second chance, so we’ll take that.
‘‘The way that Waaia play, I think we’ll be seeing them again in two weeks.’’
Payne said his side would not change its approach ahead of the grand final in two weeks’ time and he was relishing the prospect of coaching in his first grand final, which will prove his fourth as a player.
Payne praised Nick Doyle and Drew Haebich for playing a crucial role in winning the midfield battle, and said league-leading goal-kicker Lee James, who kicked three goals on Saturday, would be fit for the grand final.
James arrived at Katamatite in a moon boot and did not look entirely comfortable throughout the game.
Waaia’s Meyland said he took plenty of encouragement from his side’s opening to the game and general play.
‘‘I don’t think we were terrible .
‘‘There are a lot of positives for us to work on .
‘‘None of that means that the result has to be the same next time.’’
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