K rock Football

Falcons overrun

Clay Page was among the Geelong Falcons’ best in its four-point loss to the Gippsland Power. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

GEELONG Falcons endured more heartbreak on Saturday after throwing away a big lead in a narrow four-point defeat to Gippsland Power at Shepley Oval.

The Falcons led by 27 points at the last change and had held their opponents to just two goals to that point.

But they conceded six majors in the final term, eventually going down 8.5 (53) to 7.7 (49).

It was the Falcons’ fourth defeat by a single-figure margin in 2019.

“Our intensity dropped around the contest, and they (Gippsland) got first use, but the most disappointing part about it was the way we defended,” dejected Falcons coach Luke Daffy conceded post-match.

“We were really slow to locate and went back into our shells. We didn’t look like we were confident to go and win the game.”

Daffy and his support staff had laid down a challenge to their players during the build-up, imploring them to improve their day-to-day standards in pursuit of better results.

The demands came on the back of another disappointing performance against Bendigo Pioneers and the response for three quarters was just as the group desired.

“We had great intensity around the footy, got our hands on it first and managed to get it going our way,” Daffy said.

“Conditions were pretty difficult with the weather, but we just managed to win the ball, and we defended really well.

“It was a particular focus to just make it a one-on-one contest, and we did that for three quarters, but unfortunately we didn’t do that when it counted.

“Their effort for the majority of the day was there, and they responded to the disappointment of how we played the week before.

“It looked like there was a better commitment to the process, but the fact of the matter is they’ve let another opportunity slip, and it means we’re in another position that we don’t want to be in.”

Charlie Brauer was the Falcons’ only multiple goalkicker with two majors.

Daffy was particularly impressed with the performances of ruckman Henry Walsh, midfielder Clay Page and defender Mitchell Langan.

“Mitch played his best game for us this year. He held down centre-half back as a 17-year-old and took some really strong contested marks,” Daffy said.

“Henry was fantastic again and ended up with about 45 hit-outs, the same as last week. He’s one of the main reasons why we get first use, and he’s had a really positive month.

“Clay has come back into the side in the last fortnight, and he was pretty strong for us again around the ball.

“He managed to feed the ball out as an inside-mid, particularly in those first three quarters. He was right in the contest and really competitive.”

The Falcons will go in search of their second win for the season when they host Oakleigh Chargers at Avalon Airport Oval next week.

Twitter: @shayne_hope

GIPPSLAND POWER  0.0, 1.3, 2.4, 8.5 (53)

GEELONG FALCONS  3.4, 5.6, 6.7, 7.7 (49)

Goals; Gippsland Power: S. Berry 3, T. Baldi, T. Rees, B. McAuliffe, Z. Reid, M. McGarrity

Geelong Falcons: C. Brauer 2, G. Bove 2, K. Skene, C. Harris, O. Henry

Best; Gippsland Power: S. Berry, N. Prowd, T. Hourigan, Z. Reid, T. Rees, B. McAuliffe

Geelong Falcons: M. Langan, H. Walsh, C. Page, K. Rayner, G. Bove, C. Karpala