Pubished on 20 June 2022

By David Nagel

Teeth may have been chattering on a bitterly cold day in the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition on Saturday but it didn’t stop some warm feeling developing between Kooweerup and Cora Lynn at Denhams Road.

Several scuffles highlighted a dour and defensive first half, with the heat boiling over just prior to half time.

Cora Lynn settled better after the main break, kicking seven goals to one to walk away with a comprehensive 10.11(71) to 3.11 (29) victory.

Kooweerup coach Rhys Nisbet was minus two important figures on the weekend, with star midfielder Cosi Anagnostou and major role player Bailey Galante both forced to sit on the sidelines.

Nisbet asked his players to be wary of a fast Cora Lynn start before sending his players to the trenches.

“It’s all about pressure today boys…don’t let them start well, be all over them with pressure and put your heads over the footy,” Nisbet said pre-game.

Kooweerup’s first objective was most certainly met, with great pressure from both teams resulting in a very low-scoring first term.

Nathan Voss, conspicuous by his absence from the forward line, started on the outer wing and it was a move that paid off handsomely with the classy number-three kicking the only goal of the first quarter after 10 minutes of play.

Matt Voss, Travis Bindley and Nathan Muratore were busy early for the Demons, while half back Dillan Bass and left-footer Brent Urwin started well for the Cobras.

Cora Lynn trailled at the first break with Nathan Gardiner, Cory Machaya and Urwin all missing opportunities to give the Cobras a first-quarter lead.

The first real sign of tension between the teams took place at the 24-minute mark of the first term, with a melee breaking out in front of the Kooweerup interchange bench.

Once things settled, Nisbet was happy with the Demons first-quarter performance.

“Great start, the pressure was up and the tackle numbers are high,” he said at the first break.

“Let’s shift the footy and test them defensively.”

The two key targets for both teams, Jason Wells and Gardiner, both missed golden opportunities to provide a second-quarter kick-start.

Demon Wells missed from close range at the two-minute mark, before Gardiner fumbled a mark on the goal-line that would have resulted in a certain goal.

It took 13 minutes into the second term for Cora Lynn to kick its first goal of the match.

Machaya, who’s ability to draw a free-kick was impressive, kicked the Cobras first, before a right-foot snap by Gardiner gave the Cobras a nine-point lead.

Machaya had a purple-patch in the second term and made the Cobras look more potent moving forward.

Nathan Voss took a strong mark and goaled at the 20-minute mark, cutting the margin back to four points.

Then, once again at the 24-minute mark, a huge melee broke out between the boundary line and fence, with players flying the flag in no uncertain terms.

A resultant 50-metre penalty to Heath Briggs saw the Cobras take a 10-point lead to the main break.

The Cobras broke the back of the Demons challenge in the third term, taking a 22-point advantage into the final term before kicking away with a four-goal-to-one last quarter.

After a 0-5 start to their season the Cobras have now won five on the trot to square away their 2022 ledger.

The Cobras now sit sixth, with massive home games against Warragul Industrials (fifth) and Bunyip (seventh) immediately on the horizon.

There’s no better test to see where the Cobras sit in the pecking order.

Billy Thomas was outstanding in the ruck for the winners, relishing the slow conditions, while Rylan Smith and Robbie Hill did well to repel in defence. Matt Ryan was also important as the second tall, while Machaya and Gus Dacosta had an influence up forward.

Kooweerup looked competitive in the first half on Saturday, but the reality is it has now won four games for the season…all against the four teams below it on the ladder.

Matt Voss was superb for the Demons on the weekend, relentless with his ball-winning ability and courage, while James Voss and Nick Prowd joined Muratore and Bindley on the best players list.

The Cobras host the Dusties this week, while the Demons face one of the toughest trips in football…Tooradin-Dalmore on the Westernport.