THE Camden Haven Bombers roared back into form last weekend with a comprehensive 12.26 (98) to 5.7 (37) victory against the Sawtell Saints in Under 18s NCAFL action.
After a flying start from the Bombers,put in a polished display leading coach Gordon Wiegold to claim it as the club’s best performance thus far.
“We have been simulating game situations at training this week complete with umpire calls, penalties for errant kicks or thoughtless play, and you could see the boys have taken it into the actual game situation,” Wiegold said.
“I am always proud of our boys win, lose or draw but you have no idea how good it felt to watch them actually play a great brand of AFL when the majority of them come from very diverse sporting backgrounds.”
Lachy White produced his best performance to date and was a constant menace up forward adding his brand of “Showtime footy” to the Bomber forward line.
White kicked three goals but it was the moment he ran from the forwards all the way to the backline to get a kick-out for his teammates that impressed most.
Club veteran Hayden Clarke racked up his 87th performance in Bombers colours and celebrated with three goals of his own.
Clarke stepped up from the Under 15s in the absence of Jed Seymour, Alex Pearce, Jordy Verey and Damian Sewell and drew great praise from his teammates.
The good news story of the day was the return of Gresham Hodges from a two-game suspension carrying over from last year’s Under 15s grand final.
Hodges went straight onto the ball and played like a bull terrier throwing his body into the contests but also staying disciplined and handing the ball back directly to opponents when free kicks were awarded.
“It was great to see Gresh get back on the paddock but he earnt everyone’s respect by the way he’s turned up to almost every pre-season training session, helped out at club functions and manned the scoreboards and done every other little thing off the field in the time he’s been away - it’s a great sign for his future as a person and a player,” Wiegold said.
There were many Bomber highlights - Brad Smith reinvented himself as a forward and was instrumental in other players’ success, Jack Tate was re-born and took a mark that will long live in the spectators’ memories, and Correy McFarlane just keeps getting better each week in whatever role he’s thrust into.
“I think it was also one of the best games we’ve seen from the very versatile Alex Moulds, and our backline with the likes of Brennan O’Donnell, Andy Stokes and Brice Hayward was watertight,” Wiegold said.
“But some of our best vision was watching The Fab Four - Owen Geard, Kane Hedges, Luke Raymond and Tyson Wiegold link up for length of the field attacking raids time and time again.”
A special mention to Jayden Wilson also who is back in the team and showing improvement in the vicinity of 200 per cent since he was last at the Bombers a few years ago - one crunching tackle in particular was Seymour-like.
The Bombers have the bye next weekend in 18s and Wiegold has a normal Monday training session planned followed by a Wednesday night (5.30pm) games night for players at the LUSC where parents are welcome.
The function will be a fundraiser for Corinne Wilkes who is off to the national Youth Girls AFL titles this month.
This Sunday sees the Bombers annual Mother’s Day round at Laurieton Oval and all sponsors and supporters are most welcome to watch the Under 11s, 13s and 15s.
BEST PLAYERS v SAWTELL: Gresham Hodges, Jayden Wilson, Brad Smith, Jack Tate, Luke Raymond, Alex Moulds, Correy McFarlane, Lachy White, Hayden Clarke
GOALKICKERS: 3 each to Hayden Clarke and Lachy White, 2 to Brad Smith, 1 each to Brice Hayward, Gresham Hodges, Alex Moulds, Jack Tate, Tyson Wiegold