The race to finals has well and truly kicked off and the Collie Eagles have their eyes on the pole position after a win against the South Bunbury Tigers on Saturday night.
It was a slow start for the Eagles at Hands Oval with just two behinds for the whole first quarter.
However South Bunbury also struggled to get numbers on the scoreboard with just one goal scored by Leigh Kohlmann more than half way through the opening term.
Collie coach Clint Swallow appeared unhappy as the quarter time siren sounded, the score standing at just 1.4.10 – 0.2.2 to the Tigers.
“That was a good quarter but the wind is not going to do it for us, we need to go straight down the guts with it,” Swallow said.
“Keep our structure in place, keep the space open… keep our tackle rate up.”
Collie came out firing with a number of forward 50 entries but they were consistently intercepted by South Bunbury’s defence.
But Collie’s midfield continued to work hard to make up for it with two goals from Jayce Fontana to seal the Eagles’ first majors.
Another goal from Mathew Michael minutes later saw Collie get up on the Tigers as tensions began to boil between the two sides towards the end of the second term.
The siren rang to signal half time, seeing Collie take the lead 3.3.21 – 2.4.16.
The Eagles supporters grew increasingly frustrated with umpiring decisions, yelling from the sidelines and visibly unhappy in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
The Tigers looked strong as the second half got underway with a goal from Kohlmann, closely followed by another from the home side.
Collie appeared outnumbered in the midfield when it mattered but were able to pull together a goal from Joel Houghton before the game turned into consistent back and forth action.
Collie’s Matthew Blackford kept the away side in the game as the Tigers took control, working hard in defence before the siren sounded for three quarter time, the score 5.6.36 – 4.4.28 to the Tigers.
There was just over a goal in it for the Eagles, but with the scores locked in so low having already played most of the game, it was still up for anyone’s taking.
And Collie decided that they would take it for themselves with two goals in the opening minutes of the final term.
As the rain began to set in, Houghton sealed his second major closely followed by another from Fontana.
Kohlmann kicked another goal for South Bunbury despite Adam Bignell and Kyle Shanahan working hard throughout the field to stop the Tigers’ momentum but with further goals from Travis Cleggett and Houghton, the fate of the home side was sealed.
South Bunbury kicked a final major before the siren sounded, with an 18 point win for the Eagles.
Collie won the Saturday night match of the Drug Awareness round 10.6.66 – 7.6.48.
The Tigers now look to next week’s clash against the HBL Lions in Brunswick, while the Eagles will host the Bunbury Bulldogs on Saturday.