The Redland Bombers produced their best performance for the season to defeat perennial heavyweight Southport in the Round 11 NEAFL Northern Conference clash played at Fankhauser Reserve on Saturday.
Coming off a spirited away win against Aspley the week before, the Bombers’ attack on the ball and ability to win contested footy was again the platform to victory, which now has the club just two points outside the top five.
Southport won the toss and kicked with the aid of a strong breeze which was blowing to the northern end of the ground. The home side dominated early possession but were wasteful in front of goal enabling the Bombers to be within 14 points at the first break.
Damian Steven has been a more than adequate acquisition since crossing from Mt Gravatt and his first quarter combination with the ever consistent Blake Passfield laid a strong foundation for the Bombers.
Despite missing some set shots in the difficult conditions the visitors kicked four goals in the second term and held Southport goalless to take a 12 point lead into half time.
Bombers coach Greg Seton-Lonsdale, while praising the endeavour and intent with which his troops were playing, warned of Southport’s capability to come hard in the third term and the home side didn’t disappoint, kicking the first couple of goals and getting themselves back into the contest.
But the Bombers withstood the challenge and against the run of play scored goals through David Meli and James Webster to draw within four points at the final break.
Having lost Allen Bielski early in the game to a hamstring strain the last thing the Bombers needed was more injuries and when debutant Brendan Beno went down early in the final term the Bombers bench and rotations were limited.
The Redland backline led by Brad Howard was repelling most of Southport’s forward forays while key forward Scott Clouston was gradually working his way into the game despite the close attention of Southport defender Wayde Mills.
Defender Adam Boon typified the Bombers’ resolve and commitment by going back with the flight of the ball and taking a courageous mark at a pivotal moment, which also led to him being assisted from the field by the trainers.
Boon’s effort lifted his side and after Clouston and the hard working Tom Salter goaled, the visitors had the ascendancy.
A further Clouston goal took the margin out to seven points and the siren sounded as Southport forward Cleve Hughes goaled to end the dour struggle with Redland 10.16.76 defeating Southport 10.15.75.
In what was truly a very even team performance Passfield and Steven led the way. Howard, Daniel Dzufer, and the entire backline held firm when under siege, while midfielders Matt Thomson, Salter, and tackling machine Simon Taylor were also prominent.
This Saturday the Bombers are back home at Victoria Point hosting Eastern Conference club Belconnen at the early time of 1pm. The Reserves play Southport at 10am.