ON the back of two close losses, the Leongatha Parrots have taken to their home ground with intensity and vision to defeat their Bairnsdale opponents.
After going down to Sale and Moe, both by around two goals, the Parrots raised their flight to comfortably beat their ladder rivals.
Chris Dunn, Pat McGrath, Josh Schelling, James Lloyd and Ben Willis all returned to the side and made a big impact from the first bounce.
Coach Paul Carbis was pleased the returning players could propel the team to their first win in three weeks.
“Having guys back was a really good boost and hopefully we’ll continue to get more back soon,” he said.
Playing a wide and fast brand of football, many successful forward entries started with the strong, defensive hands of back-man Chris Verboon.
Centre half back and co-captain Verboon was confident in his defensive ability, moving the ball forward along varied lines, the backline wasn’t afraid to switch the ball moving forward.
In the middle Patrick McGrath led the way, with young Cameron Olden paying close attention.
The 18-year-old Olden fitting in well around the Parrots’ highly structured attack.
In the ruck, Justin Pellicano gave the Parrots first ball advantage.
Josh Hopkins was efficient in using the centre clearances, delivering to the forward likes of Lachie Wright.
Wright couldn’t put a footy wrong as he kicked six goals straight.
“The key behind our play was intensity and getting our structures right, adhering to those,” Carbis said.
“Kicking straight helps too and makes a massive difference.”
This accurate kicking continued into the fourth quarter, where ‘Gatha kicked an impressive seven goals with just one behind.
This four-quarter effort combined with their staunch defence, led by Verboon, resulted in the home side coming away with a 62-point win.
Carbis was extremely satisfied with his team’s full effort.
“We got that consistent effort across four quarters and it was pleasing that we finished the game really well,” he said.
The Parrots will now look to back up their big win when they face top side Maffra away from home, an obstacle Carbis thinks his team can overcome.
“It’s one of the toughest fixtures you can get and we’ve got a great rivalry,” he said.
“We’ve just got to review what we did this week and hopefully if we can repeat that next week, we’ll get the rewards.
The Parrots are still awaiting the return of midfield master Tom Marriott, who has been out all season with a shoulder injury.
Marriott is pencilled to return for the next Parrots home game coming up against Drouin on July 3.
Six straight, that’s all Wright