By Sam Watson
PHILLIP Island has lost their first game since 2018, after Nar Nar Goon put on a brilliant performance at Cowes.
The match started as a shootout with both sides moving the ball extremely quickly up and down the ground.
After Nar Nar Goon opened its account, the Bulldogs kicked four unanswered goals, asserting themselves as the dominant force in the match.
Those four goals included two from Hayden Bruce and one each from Eli Richards and Max Blake, who would prove to be a force to be reckoned with all day.
But Nar Nar Goon responded and after multiple goals, they brought the margin to five points at quarter time.
And they carried that momentum into the second quarter, booting the first two goals to give themselves a seven-point lead.
But Daniel Pearce and Billy Taylor began to rebound beautifully across half-back and all of a sudden, the hosts were up and flying again.
Blake and Bruce slotted a goal each and Orlando Kane-Gillard got on the end of one to help the Island to a 13-point lead at half-time.
Nar Nar Goon was determined to make sure their hard work in the first half wouldn’t go undone and drew level with their opponents after two goals early in the third term.
The Gooners’ defence was resolute but the Bulldogs were finally able to break through thanks to Richards and Blake.
Blake finished with five goals for the day, extending his lead in the competition goal kicking.
Phillip Island would’ve been hoping their third term goals gave them enough momentum to close the game out, but the Gooners kept coming and tied it up at 68 a piece before the final term.
In an amazing display of football, the two sides traded goals all throughout the quarter and after Nar Nar Goon responded for a third time, they were just three points down.
That was until they put one more through with a few minutes to go, giving them a five-point lead.
Phillip Island kept on coming, but the visitors were too good down back and they held on for the unlikely win by five points.
Next week Phillip Island will look to make amends when they head to Koo Wee Rup and Nar Nar Goon will be expecting another win when they travel to Bunyip.
Full coverage of netball and football from the region in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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