CRIB POINT FC – By Jared Newton
CRIB Point’s nightmare season continued as they failed to break their Tractor Park hoodoo for another year in a 17 point loss to the Panthers.
In difficult conditions the Pies and the Panthers were locked in a tight tussle for much of the game with several momentum swings throughout.
Pearcedale had the upper hand in a tight first half before Crib Point exploded in the third term with a 6.4 quarter, slamming home five unanswered goals on the back of dominance from Beau Monty up forward, Brad Davidson across half back and Luke Herrington through the middle getting clear.
At the final change all the Pies needed to do was maintain their pressure and show some composure but failed to back up their 3rd quarter dominance as Pearcedale slammed home five goals to a solitary point to walk away with the four points.
Unlike some other previous losses the positives were few and far between with Brad Arnold telling the group after the game the side is playing football like a bottom two team which is where the Pies currently sit. However despite the negativity, one shining light was Zak Dekluever’s return to the Pies after the world’s longest pre-season, bolstering the teams big man stocks with some big grabs and plenty of run. His presence on Saturday highlighted how badly he has been missed by the team. Another shining light was the debut of Nick Rutherford from the Under 19s who showed he’s a player to watch for the Pies with a big future in the midfield. Word is he won’t be the last to be blooded for 2015 either.
The reserves banked win number three for 2015 with a 20 point win in an ugly display against Pearcedale.
In blustery, cold conditions clean football was hard to come by as the win was going to be rewarded to the team that knuckled down the longest. A strong early start for the Pies was let down by a terrible second quarter where discipline went out the door momentarily before composing themselves in the second half to kick away with the wind in the 3rd quarter and hold on in the final term.
The final quarter was an ugly stoppage-filled affair that suited the reserves just fine as Pete Coelli, Josh Pemberton-Buchanan, and Cal Campbell dominated to carry the team to victory. Mitch Kleinig was solid all day up forward in a rare four quarter disciplined effort which saw him steady the team with three goals.
Coach Thompson breathed a huge sigh of relief at the final siren to keep that drum beating a little softer.
The Under 19s bounced back after a disappointing loss with a solid 50 point win.
The conditions were not easy to play in early in the day where the wind was at its strongest but the side played a great team brand of footy chipping away all day with four solid quarters to build their lead throughout the day against a competitive Pearcedale outfit.
Zac Vines put on a clinic in the ruck and helped himself to a dozen grabs across the ground, while Tyler Wilton kicked himself another four as Liam O’Connor and Kai Espenschied continued their strong seasons winning plenty of the prune across the ground.
A sign of a good side is one that can bounce back after disappointment and they ticked that box on Saturday. They need to consolidate again with some difficult games ahead against other teams in the five between now and the end of the home and away season.