The LUSC Camden Haven Bombers Under 18s had a hard-fought victory over the Sawtell Saints 10.8 (68) to 6.8 (44) at Wayne Richards Park, Port Macquarie at the weekend.
Between wet weather and gaps in the playing schedule, the Bombers hadn’t had much time together as a unit over the past three weeks on and off the playing paddock and it showed early.
A rejuvenated Sawtell threw everything at the Bombers and were physically superior and more willing to run off both offensively and defensively.
It took until about 10 minutes before half time for the Bombers to click into action and it was on the back of an inspired performance from Correy McFarlane.
The original Bomber has been missing of late due to work commitments but he was given a key mid-field role on Saturday and showed the hunger, physical determination and passion to make it work more often.
McFarlane’s inspiration rubbed off on the likes of Lachy White who went into the unfamiliar back half and picked up crucial possessions, while Kane Hedges and Andy Stokes started to come into the game.
There was still less than a goal in it at three quarter time but the Bomber huddle lifted and the energy carried onto the field.
Gresham Hodges and Damian Sewell started to click in the forward line, Wil Wright roared back to his best and Alex Moulds proved steady as a rock at full forward despite copping a nasty injury earlier.
There were the usual glimpses of brilliance from Owen Geard, Jack Tate and Luke Raymond and both Brennan O’Donnell and Jayden Wilson lifted to the next level.
The Bombers kicked away and were convincing but still need to work on their fitness and their hands were unreliably sloppy in the marking contests this week.
Training for the Under 18s has been moved to Thursday this week (tomorrow) and a weekend day training session will be held this Saturday with players asked to bring boots and joggers to meet behind the LUSC at 11.15am.
The junior Bombers travelled to Taree Auskick Centre last weekend in the spirit of trying to grow AFL in the region.
The visit was followed by a game of AFL featuring senior players who may be a part of the Bombers’ NCAFL foray into reserve grade next year.
Best players for 18s: Luke Raymond, Gresham Hodges, Correy McFarlane, Alex Moulds, Jack Tate.
Next weekend: No football for either junior or Senior Bombers.