The Mininera and District Football League interleague team could not recover from a slow start against South West District Football League to go down by 31 points at Hamilton’s Melville Oval on Saturday.
The 9.12.66 to 15.7.97 loss came after the Mininera team managed only four goals in the first three quarters with inaccuracy costing the team in front of goal.
The visiting team scored five goals to three in the final term but the 45-point margin was too much to reel in, as the South West team made up for its 2016 loss to the Mininera league.
Tatyoon’s Adrian Pilgrim and Lismore-Derrinallum’s Michael Lockyer were the only multiple goal kickers for the Mininera side, both finishing with two majors.
Lockyer also collected the medal after a best on field performance for his team.
Mininera coach Justin Eales said there were danger signs early in the match.
“It was probably obvious from early in the game that they were there to play and had a sharp side,” he said.
“With our ordinary preparation leading up to the interleague match, we were under no illusions we were going to be in for a tough day and we probably were not quite there playing as a team.”
The last quarter efforts made the scoreboard look respectable but it was only after Eales made changes to the team’s approach that the team scored more regularly.
Eales said he encouraged the team to take the game on in the final term and to just go all out attack.
“The boys fought it out and got back within three goals in the last quarter but early on, I think the scoreboard made us look better than we were,” he said.
“We had a style of play we wanted to play but it is hard with the guys barely even training together in the lead in to the game.”
Eales said the match may not have gone ahead if some players did not step up at the last minute.
“It almost did not go ahead, we had a really poor turnout at training which was disappointing,” he said.
“If you want to play interleague and you want to be involved, then you have to put in the work before the match.
“It is where the best players in the league play off against the best players of other leagues and you see where the league is at compared to others.”
The Penshurst coach stepped up to coach the league’s representative team again this year and said he is worried about the future of the interleague clash.
“Unless all the players buy in to the league in the future, then it is hard to see it going ahead again which will be unfortunate.”
The players will return to their usual teams to continue the Mininera league season with round five on Saturday.