Island overcome a slow start

Island star Brendan Kimber was instrumental down at Bunyip on Saturday. 194765

By Nick Creely



The ability to adapt – regardless of the conditions or the situation within a game – is what separates the top-echelon from the rest.

Staring down the barrel of what could well have been a shock upset at quarter time, the reigning premiers, Phillip Island needed to adapt against a hungry Bunyip outfit.

And they did, eventually finding its groove and remaining undefeated to stay on top of the West Gippsland ladder, 17.14 (116) to 5.7 (37).

After a rare, goalless first term, the Dogs made the Island pay on the scoreboard, slamming on the first four goals, and crucially, denying danger man, Cameron Pedersen the ability to have any real influence.

But the Island re-adjusted, giving Pedersen the supply he needed, and by half-time, the visitors had completely turned the screws, slamming on six of the seven second-quarter goals to open up a 13-point lead.

With Pedersen turning in yet another eye-catching display on his way to six goals and, once again, a likely best on ground, as well as the likes of Brendan Kimber, Hayden Bruce (six goals), Marcus Wright and Zak Vernon injecting their class on the contest and starting to dominate, the Island were merciless in the second-half.

The margin quickly ballooned out to 55 at three quarter time after the Island went berserk to quick seven goals straight and keep the home side scoreless, before once again holding the Dogs goalless in the final term and slamming on a further four themselves. That’s 11.6 to 0.6 in the second half alone.

With the race for the top set to go down to the wire, the vital percentage booster could prove extremely handy.

Elsewhere across the competition, Nar Nar Goon were made to work by Kilcunda Bass but stamped its authority with a dominant second term, 14.8 (92) to 8.1 (49).

The Goon lead by 16 at quarter-time, but flexed its muscle to slam on four unanswered goals in the second-term, opening up a 42-point lead, a margin that couldn’t be reeled in despite the home side fighting the game out.

Goon star Trent Armour once again shone with another sublime display, Lachie Hansen slotted four, while the likes of Jake Blackwood and Brent Hughes all had an impact. For the Panthers, Taylor Gibson slotted five to take his season tally to 18, while Riley Cousins battled hard all day.

In the remaining matches, Inverloch Kongwak had too much class for Warragul Industrials at home, 15.20 (110) to 5.8 (38), while Korumburra-Bena held off a fast-finishing Dalyston, 14.7 (91) to 11.6 (72).

Round 12 will see Tooradin-Dalmore welcome Nar Nar Goon to its home ground for what promises to be a fascinating battle, with the third-placed Seagulls looking to put a dent in the Goon’s finals hopes, who could break into the top-five with a win away from home, while the other big game of the round, Cora Lynn and Bunyip, is also an important match in the context of the season.

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