K rock Football

Tigers keen to avoid slow start

Bannockburn co-coach Ron Pilgrim. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

AVOIDING a slow start will be critical to Bannockburn reversing the result of its Anzac Day loss to Inverleigh when the Golden Plains rivals meet again on Saturday, according to Tigers co-coach Ron Pilgrim.

Trailing by 22 points at quarter time in the Round 3 meeting at Morton Power Oval, Bannockburn fell just four points short of a famous win.

“We gave them a start, and you can’t do that,” Pilgrim said. “And we did the same to East Geelong last weekend.

“The good sides, you can’t afford to give them a start. I think we were 35 points down at one stage at Inverleigh.

“When you’re playing sides that are up-and-about, and they’re good sides, even though you get back in the game, it can take its toll on you.”

A Bannockburn victory will keep it in third spot, just one game behind Inverleigh, and depending on other results, East Geelong with six rounds remaining.

However, a Tigers loss will likely see them fall to fifth, with Geelong West and Thomson to start favourites against Anakie and the Belmont Lions, respectively.

With what’s at stake, Pilgrim isn’t shying away from the importance of the match-up with the Hawks.

“This one’s even more significant because of the loss last week,” he said.

“Anyone in that top five, on their day, is capable of winning. We need to win this one.

” I said last week, we’re looking forward to playing against the best, so we’re playing the top team.

“For our aspirations of finishing top three, it’s a must-win.”

Pilgrim is unsure whether versatile big man Kieran Fulton will return for his first game since Round 9.

“We’re hoping to (get him back),” Pilgrim said.

“We thought he was going to play a couple of weeks ago.

“I couldn’t make training on Tuesday night, but speaking with Jack (Brauman), he didn’t do a lot.

“We’ll find out tonight whether he’s going to be available or night.”

Pilgrim said Brayden Viccars, who has spent the past fortnight in the reserves, and Ayden Osborne will come under consideration for a senior recall.

Twitter: @tom_king79