Berwick’s high five

By Mark Gullick
BERWICK edged out
Cranbourne by five points in a
classic round one encounter
at Edwin Flack Reserve.
The massive crowd was
treated to a tense, eventful
final term with the result
undecided right until the final
siren.
From the opening bounce
it was clear that it was going to
be a competitive match.
After an even first term,
Cranbourne kicked six goals
in the second term to lead by
29 points at the long break.
Berwick, on the back of a
dominating midfield and four
goals to forward Grant Noo
nan, came back into the game
during the third term.
“I gave them a bit of a fire-
up at half-time and a few home
truths and they came out and
played a straighter brand of
footy,” said Berwick coach
Glenn Dale.
It took until the 23-minute
mark for Cranbourne’s first
goal and at the final change,
its lead was reduced to seven
points.
Berwick took the lead at
the seven-minute mark of the
final term after two goals and
then stretched its lead to 13
points.
Two goals from captain
Marc Holt, including one from
the boundary line, brought
Cranbourne back within strik
ing distance.
Berwick settled with goals
to Michael Hanigan and Noo
nan, his seventh for the
match.
Cranbourne then scored a
goal and kept attacking but it
missed two chances in the
dying minutes and Berwick
hung on to claim a dramatic
victory.
“It was a hard-fought win,”
said Dale. “We had more
inside 50s, more tackles and
more of the important things
and five more scoring shots,
and it was probably closer
than it should have been.
We’re just happy to get the
win.”
Dale praised his young
defence, which was under
siege in the game’s final
moments.
“We’ve got five guys 22
(years old) or under and one
27-year-old and for them to
hold out in the last quarter
was great.”
Berwick’s best players
were Brett and Dale Robin
son, Grant Noonan and
Nathan Waite.
Cranbourne coach Doug
Koop was disappointed with
the loss, but pleased with
some aspects of his team’s
performance.
“We expected a very phys
ical encounter. They recruited
well, they were on their home
track and they were pretty
fired up to knock us over
again,” he said.
“To their credit they
fought back and probably
made the most of their oppor
tunities late in the game. We
had an opportunity to draw
the game. It could’ve gone
either way. When you come to
these games, you’ve got to
make the most of your oppor
tunities.
“The players are disap
pointed. We’re disappointed
that we lost an opportunity to
win, but you’ve just got to take
the positives. You point out
the areas that cost us the
game.”
Koop was impressed with
recruit Justin Berry, who
kicked five goals and worked
hard around the ground.
Matthew Rus, Matthew
Thompson, Matthew Fletcher
and Adam Wright distin
guished themselves.

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