The Under 18 Camden Haven Bombers pulled off the upset of the season so far when they rolled the previously undefeated Coffs Swans by 9 goals at Fitzroy Oval.
It was the most significant statement thus far from the Bombers young guns who are developing signs of being a real threat in the NCAFL competition.
Led by big guns Brad Smith, Jack Tate and Tyson Wiegold, the Bombers got off to a flyer leading by 4 goals at the first break but more importantly keeping the opposition to a solitary point.
The Swans edged back into the contest at half time but in the second half the Bombers rose again with the likes of Andy Stokes, Luke Raymond and the indestructible Owen Geard putting on a masterclass.
In another encouraging sign, the Bombers battled on despite injuries to key players such as Brennan O’Donnell, Kane Hedges and Gresham Hodges who improves every week.
“We are about to hit that awkward mid-season stretch and we have not got a home game this month,” coach Gordon Wiegold said.
“We set ourselves to win 2 of the next 3 games and we can’t start any better than what we did against a strong Swans outfit - these boys are showing signs that they want to learn, improve and add to their AFL repertoire.”
Best Players: Brad Smith, Jack Tate, Luke Raymond, Owen Geard, Gresham
Hodges, Tyson Wiegold,
In Sunday MNCJAFL action the Bombers travelled to Wayne Richards Park for Under 15s and faced up to a strong Port White team in very warm conditions.
After a slow start and despite missing some key personnel, the Bombers put in a very strong second quarter, matching the pace and endeavour that Port showed in the first quarter with some fantastic chases by new players Jared Taylor and Lauchlan Hayman being rewarded with some tackle free kicks.
Lacking a tall marking forward, the Bombers were unable to capitalise on the time spent in their forward zone though with strong Port defence making it difficult to score.
The heat took its toll in the third quarter but Ari Vanderent showed some great tap work in the ruck and tried hard all day with the other midfielders, Hayden Clarke and Trent Finch.
The team highlight was the chase by Jarmyn Hudson in the dying minutes of the game, from the midfield to the goal square trying to prevent another Port goal.
This typified the persistence many of his fellow players such as other newcomers Caleb Hodges and Marcus Tate displayed in their forward pressure and tackling during the match.
Best players: Jared Taylor, Lauchlan Hayman, Trent Finch, Ari Vanderent.
The Under 13s had great numbers and sportingly gave the opposition 2 players each quarter.
The Magpies got an early jump in the first quarter and led by a couple of goals by the first break.
However the second quarter belonged to the Bombers but some inaccurate kicking at goal cost them a chance to lead at half-time.
The third quarter saw the Bombers continue to put pressure on the opposition with great chasing and tackling, never allowing them to gain any easy kick at goals.
The final quarter saw the opposition gain momentum which allowed them to win by only a few goals. But the Bombers commitment and pride in their own game shows they are second to none, never once dropping their heads or allowing the game to be a one-sided contest.
On the playing front, Trent Clarke continues to impress with his leadership and ball gathering ability while Max Griffis, Lachy Hunt and Callum Vanderant ran all day.
Joel Barton’s signature move - the double baulk - brought the crowd to life and Josh Arandale’s knowledge to make space and read the play well will pay huge dividends soon.
Another crowd favourite, Kartia Hudson, displayed hardness at the ball that is fast becoming her trademark.
Best Players: Max Grifis, Trent Clarke, Callum Vanderant and Lachy Hunt.
The Bomber Under 11s have made significant strides in the past two weeks under the guidance of Mel Hunt and Darren Mearrick and continue to be a pleasure to watch.
At the weekend, the young Bombers took on Port White in a very even contest despite the height advantage Port took into the contest.
The Attenboroughs, Declan and Aurora, have made a massive difference - Aurora’s turn to shine this week in her debut and putting on a defensive display that had the Port opponents running to hide.
Blake French shows improvement each week and his combination with Aiden Wilkinson at the back stopped many goals.
Reuben Gammon and Mitch Hunt tried all day and Chaz Wiegold’s handball back over his head to Caleb Moss as he was going over the boundary line drew much applause from both sets of fans.
This weekend: MAY 26 (Saturday) Under 18s v North Coffs at Macksville; MAY 27 (Sunday) Round 5 - Under 11s, 13s and 15s: v Wauchope @ Laurieton Oval.
If any players or parents are able to assist as volunteers at Slice of Haven this Sunday, please see Gordon Wiegold or ring 0418 266 700.