LOY Yang B Gippsland Power went into its seventh TAC Cup game prepared for a tough contest against the highly rated Geelong Falcons.
The Falcons have many fine players and dominated numbers in the Victorian Country team, so, on paper they presented a genuine threat to the Power’s unbeaten status.
However, the Falcons were not able to translate their individual brilliance to a team performance.
This season the Power have earned a reputation for outstanding team focus and coach Nick Stevens was keen for the boys to continue this way to counteract the Falcons’ individual strength.
Early in the first term it was obvious the Falcons were ready to challenge the Power and both sides were struggling to score goals due to the applied pressure.
Some magical ball use by Nate Paredes set Josh Scott, and then Nick Graham and Tim Membrey combined to give the side another major. Some more good work in tight by Paredes and Shannen Lange saw Scott kick another and the Power appeared to be on a roll.
The lead was 14 points to the Power but should have been greater as they had been forward twice as many times as the Falcons, but struggled to convert these opportunities to goals.
The weather was deteriorating and the challenges involved for both sides increased as they attempted to cope with the wet conditions.
An easy goal to the Falcons reminded the Power of the need to remain focussed and some good work by Graham and Matt Northe at ground level allowed Membrey to reply.
A free kick gave the Falcons the initiative and they got another vital major on the rebound to get within on goal close to half time.
Some more purposeful ball use allowed Northe to set up Scott for a Power reply and they took the 14-point lead into the long break.
The game was still up for grabs and the Power had to maintain their advantage in fitness and intensity.
Early in the third term, the Power maintained their intense one-on-one pressure, and Simon Deery and Scott combined well to allow Lange to score the opening goal of the quarter.
Some excellent defensive pressure by the Power and poor finishing by the Falcons saw them waste chances to stay within reach at a crucial time in the game.
In stark contrast, the Power were clinical with their ball use and great work by Will Hams and Graham resulted in an easy major to Jack Leslie.
A clever intercept by Drew McGrath led him to Northe, and by the last change the Power had extended their lead to 35 points.
It was now time for the Power to show why they have dominated the last terms of all their games this season, using their superior fitness and excellent work ethic to finish the game.
In heavy rain the Falcons opened the scoring for the term but excellent ball skills by Scott allowed Tom Muir to score a Power reply to the Falcons goal.
Paredes again used a hard-won ball to give Muir another and the Power were dominating play with their willingness to apply enormous pressure all over the ground.
Josh Scott took a terrific contested mark and then kicked a fine goal from the 50 metre line.
Good ball use by Northe set Scott up deep in the forward pocket, and he kicked brilliantly to finish off some more great team work by his side.
He was not done though, and he scored again after excellent work by first gamer Michael Kelly and Lange.
By the final siren the margin was 59 points which accurately reflected the Power’s dominance of general play.
Nick told the boys he felt this was their best performance in a great season and was delighted with the evenness of the contributions of all the players in the team.
Further analysis showed 80-plus tackles by the Power showing their dominance in this area.
But the best indication of their performance was their dominance of the second half of the match where they kicked nine goals to the Falcon single major.
Final scores Loy Yang B Gippsland Power 14 goals 12 behinds 96 points defeated Geelong Falcons 4 goals 13 behinds 37 points.
Goal kickers Josh Scott 6, Tom Muir and Tim Membrey 2, Matt Northe, Nick Graham, Shannen Lange and Jack Leslie 1.