THE ground was wet from regular showers and the wind was blowing a gale to the Wonthaggi pool end, so attack on the ball was vital and from the outset the Power showed it was up for the fight.
The strength of the wind was evident when Bairnsdale’s Damien Cupido’s first scoring shot, for a point, sent the ball way over into the pool carpark and there was a lengthy delay while a member of the public went and retrieved it.
So it was hard for the Power to make progress up the field but the pleasing thing was they had the lion’s share of possession and were strong in defence.
Jack Blair put his head down and made a gusty attack on the ball in defence. Luke O’Connor showed courage too, forcing the ball forward to Lachie Jones and Aiden Lindsay with Tom Davey snapping one out of the pack for the Powers’ first of the day.
Dark clouds were gathering but the rain held off for the time being and Wonthaggi limited Bairnsdale’s effectiveness with the wind by retaining possession.
Bryon Dryden was taking the tap-outs in the centre, until relieved by Will Joplin; Blair, Kane McCarthy and Michael Kelly were on the ball opposed to the Redlegs’ Gilroy, Brian, Dennison and others.
Good bullocking work by McCarthy got the ball out of a sticky pack to Riley Lindsay, who was applying plenty of forward pressure and with Dryden in support, they kept the ball in the scoring zone.
Blair to Phil Young produced a shot on goal which fell short but the endeavour from the Power was good.
Curtis Gilmour, Jarrod Membrey and Dryden strung some passes together and found Eli Richards but again the wind blew the ball off course.
Finally it was reward for Power effort when Kelly, Lachie Jones and Riley Lindsay combined well to get the ball to Dom O’Connor on a long straight lead for a goal.
He punched the air when the ball sailed through and the Power had done well into the wind, restricting the Redlegs, getting plenty of it themselves and showing a willingness for the contest.
Finally, Bairnsdale broke through for their first goal via Sam Park but Wonthaggi was quick to respond after Gilmour split the pack to give Davey another opportunity, with the skilled forward goaling from an acute angle.
The Power was running the ball well and there were plenty of contributors; among them Dryden, Blair, Harley, Lachie Jones, Bray, Dom O’Connor, Davey and Riley Lindsay who added several pressure acts to his efforts up forward.
In the shadows of quarter time, Bairnsdale pulled one back against the flow, a long, straight shot by Cupido which sailed through on the wind to cut the margin to five points but you had to be happy with the Power’s efforts and they ultimately took control of the game by half time in a low-scoring affair.
Bairnsdale were certainly competitive though and a good-sized crowd, for the conditions, saw an entertaining match with Power running out winners by 42 points in the end.
Full football coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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