By Aiden Box
INVERLOCH-KONGWAK came off a week’s rest, blooded young gun Taite Cumming and travelled down the road to face an in-form Dalyston side.
The game started with the hosts quelling multiple Sea Eagle forward attacks through sheer intensity at the coal face, disallowing them their trademark run and carry.
As he did last time out, IK star midfielder Oscar Toussaint broke the game open, punched home the first major and stamped his authority early.
The visitors found their run soon after and were able to meet the Magpies’ ferociousness at the contest, which resulted in many problems for the home side.
Despite repeat inside 50s, the Sea Eagles struggled to finish their chances as the brisk wind played tricks on both sides’ efficiency.
Regardless of the tough conditions, IK’s class shone through as they linked up beautifully to find Gareth Park for his first.
Just as they had in their huge round 3 victory, the Sea Eagles looked brutally dangerous off turnover, continuously turning them into scoring opportunities.
Dalyston’s decision making and skill errors cost them towards the end of the first term.
IK reached the break 48 points ahead, thanks to some stellar ruckwork from their dynamic duo Marcus Toussaint and Clint McCaughan.
The second term began with more of the same as the Pies’ defence was peppered early, although held strong as the visitors’ inaccuracy spread through the team.
Dalyston transitioned well from defensive 50, although were unable to finish on a tough day for foot skills in blustery conditions.
The hosts finally found a scoring opportunity via a set shot from Jack Legione, who was unfortunately unable to convert from the pocket.
Another Gareth Park goal broke the mid-quarter stalemate, before Oscar Toussaint claimed his third major thanks to some excellent stoppage work from McCaughan.
The well-rested Sea Eagles kept the foot on the gas pedal and McCaughan was able to ride home a goal of his own soon after.
The Pies kept charging out of defence, although failed to get it inside 50, their skill errors falling right into the Sea Eagles’ hands.
Marcus Toussaint and Corey Casey dominated the stoppages for IK as they extended their lead to 70 at the main break.
The ball pinballed between the forward 50s to begin the third quarter, as Dalyston really ramped up their intensity and continued to fight.
Oscar Toussaint finally broke through for his fourth on the day after repeat forward entries and McCaughan continued to show why he’s one of the league’s best.
As the sun disappeared behind the afternoon cloud, so did the free scoring, the hometown Magpies doing a sensational job at harnessing the visitors through the third term.
They produced another set shot although heartbreakingly were still yet to find their first major to reward their defence for their mammoth effort.
Another positive play from the hosts ended in more heartbreak as the ‘ever-reliable’ Lewis Rankin claimed the intercept mark on the goal line.
The Pies battled valiantly all day, but as Oscar Toussaint slotted his fifth it became tough to hold up their heads, the lead at 97 points going into the final break.
The fourth again started with great pressure from the hosts, although this time it was sustained, and young gun Hayden Wallis’ quick chance went wayward.
Moments later, Wallis made up for his miss with a brilliant snap from stoppage for Dalyston’s first goal of the afternoon.
The hosts kept pressing and taking advantage of more IK misses in front of goal and were well ahead in the quarter.
But as the sun came out and the crowd found its voice, it was all IK; Tristan Van Driel finally got himself a major after struggling with accuracy all day.
First-gamer Taite Cumming slotted his first senior goal and was swamped by his teammates.
Cumming added another and Oscar Toussaint bagged his sixth in likely another best on ground performance.
Another magnificent day of football for IK, running out 116-point winners, setting up a mouth-watering top-two clash with Phillip Island next week in Cowes.
As for Dalyston, they were unable to continue their winning ways, they will head down the highway to face Tooradin-Dalmore in round 5.