K rock Football

Wounded Hawks storm home

Inverleigh coach Adam Donohue was injured in the win over Thomson. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

INVERLEIGH has overcome injuries to a trio of key players, including playing coach Adam Donohue, and a dogged Thomson to avoid consecutive losses.

Trailing by 33 points at three-quarter time and with only one fit player on the bench, the Hawks stormed home in front of a vocal crowd featuring members of Leigh Districts’1992 premiership-winning team.

After both teams kicked an early goal in the last quarter, the Hawks reeled off six-straight majors, including the match-winner from Kad McEwan-Walsh with 90 seconds remaining, to claim victory by three points, 14.10 (94) to 13.13 (91).

“They just found a way, the boys,” Donohue said.

“Thomson probably looked a little bit out on their feet, and in fairness, they lost two (to injury) in the first 5-10 minutes, so I think they were only down to one on the bench after half-time.

“It’s one of the better wins I’ve been involved in.”

Donohue said the ability for Inverleigh to make the most of its opportunities in the final term proved telling.

“Dalton Grundell marked and kicked a goal from 55m; Nathan Mayes kicked one from 50m,” he said.

“Then Kad took the mark with about two minutes to go about 40-45m out and nailed it.

“That’s probably been a bit of our downfall this year. Until today, I think we’ve always kicked more points than goals.

“If you don’t nail those shots, you lose the game. So, it was really important that the guys took their moments.”

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Donohue also praised the work of assistant coaches Dion Miles and Chris Moore, who took control at three-quarter time as he dealt with his injury.

“I’ve said it before – I think I’ve got two of the better off-field coaches you’ll ever get,” Donohue said.

“It was their call to leave Dalton permanently forward.

“If he’s not forward in the last quarter – he kicked two (goals) about three minutes – we don’t win.

“Little things like that are fantastic.”

Grundell finished with six goals, while McEwan-Walsh contributed three.

Donohue will have a scan on his hamstring injury early this week. Toby Manganelli also has a hamstring issue, while Lachie Buyel will miss next week’s meeting after suffering a concussion.

Daniel Freeman kicked a season-high six goals for Thomson, who was again without Brent Macleod (hamstring) to take his tally to 24 goals.

In other GDFL games, Bell Post Hill ended Geelong West’s unbeaten start to the season with a 20-point victory at West Oval, 14.6 (90) to 10.10 (70).

Former Winchelsea captain Will Ford’s impressive run of form continued with a match-winning six goals taking him to 34 for the season.

Blake Dye booted seven of the Giants’ goals. He now has 28 goals in 2022.

East Geelong had no issue replacing injured sharpshooter Zac Smith with fellow St Albans recruit Jake Watson-Serle slamming home ten goals in a 94-point thrashing of Corio at Richmond Crescent,

Joel and Toby Bennett did all they could to keep the Devils competitive with three goals apiece.

The Eagles’ 22.9 (141) to 7.5 (47) win sees Ben Boseley’s men return to the top of the GDFL ladder.

Winchelsea remained in touch with the top five thanks to a 22-point win over Werribee Centrals at Eastern Reserve.

David Tucker’s six goals proved vital for the Blues in their 13.15 (93) to 11.5 (71) victory.

Josh Bouwman kept the Centurions competitive with a five-goal haul.

A seven-goal haul from big man Kieran Fulton highlighted Bannockburn’s 122-point hiding of North Geelong at Victoria Park.

The Magpies never threatened the Tigers on their way to a percentage-boosting 21.15 (141) to 2.7 (19) victory.

The returning Mark Paramanov was the lone goalkicker for the undermanned North.

Veteran Ben Evans kicked five goals and Brent Jacques three as the Belmont Lions kept Anakie winless with a 52-point victory at Anakie Reserve.

A six-goal-to-nil second quarter proved the difference, as the Lions turned a five-point deficit at the first change into a 33-point lead at half-time.

Playing coach Daniel Bunworth and Daniel Heyward kicked two goals for the Roos.

Twitter: @tom_king79