K rock Football

Dowling brilliance the difference

Paddy Dowling celebrates the goal that put St Mary’s in front of South Barwon. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

TWO pieces of final quarter brilliance from Paddy Dowling have proved the difference as St Mary’s overcame a plucky South Barwon to remain unbeaten after four rounds of the GFL season.

Dowling kicked one goal from a quick snap out of a pack after a marking contest at the six-minute mark to give the Saints the lead.

That was cancelled out more than 10 minutes later by Swan Ryan Dillon’s scrambling effort before Dowling marked and kicked truly from 4om at the 22-minute mark for St Mary’s to again hit the front.

The Saints were then able to hold South Barwon at bay for more than six minutes to claim victory, 6.12 (48) to 6.6 (42)

The winning goal was the result of Dowling being moved into the midfield.

“As coaches, you try to do a few things, and we threw him up on the ball thinking, ‘let’s just see what he can do up on the ball’,” St Mary’s co-coach Glenn Keast said.

“It probably freed him up to some degree because (his opponent) dropped off him and Paddy ended up sneaking forward and Maxy (Augerinos) spotted him out of the corner of his eye.

“We were probably hoping he’d get his hands on the ball. But, he ended up sliding forward and kicking a goal, which was very nice.”

South Barwon, who played most of the final quarter with only two on the bench after injury issues forced Andy Higgins and Josh O’Dwyer from the ground, could consider themselves unlucky not to have walked off with the four points.

The loss leaves them among four teams with a 2-2 win-loss record along with North Shore, Leopold and Geelong West.

“Pretty flat not to get the win,” Swans coach Dave Farrell said. “To come out and match it with a side that’s so well-respected in the competition for a good portion of the game, we’ll take a lot away from that.

“There’s still a lot to learn; I reckon some of our decision-making when we had the footy was in our hands.

“The intent was right for the most part, but the guys we were kicking to (who were) flat-footed, or handballing to flat-footed.

“We maybe made decisions to turn in(to) the corridor when we maybe could have played the percentages a little bit deep and stuff like that.”

Click below to listen to interviews with Glenn Keast, Dave Farrell and Darcy Chirgwin

Twitter: @tom_king79