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Magpies begin to fly with successive wins

YOU BEAUTY: Clunes’ Jesse Baird celebrates a goal during Saturday’s 16-point victory over Rokewood-Corindhap. Picture: Kate Healy.
Nanjing Night Net

CLUNEShas managed consecutive wins for the first time this season, after grindingout a 16-point victory over Rokewood-Corindhap.

In an intriguing affair between two inexperienced outfits, the Magpieseventually wore down their opponents to break away in the final term.

Until then, there was little between the two sides.

An even opening quarter saw Clunes lead by a solitary goal at the first change, whichwas reduced to just four points by half time.

Little changed in the third term, as the Magpies once again entered the final breakwith a six-point buffer.

Grasshoppers’ forward Aaron Clarke kicked truly in the opening minutes of the finalquarter to put his side in front, but Clunes quickly replied with a centre clearanceand goal.

From then on, the Magpies dominated.

In a game that was remarkably low-scoring until three quarter time, thingsquickly opened up for Clunes.

Suddenly it was able to find space in the forward line and hit the scoreboard, withJayden Hind (four goals) and Jesse Baird (three) proving a force in attack.

Joint-coach Jason Hill said his young side was able to find another gear in the last quarter.

“We carried the ball and broke the lines,” Hill said.

“At times we caught (the Grasshoppers) flat-footed on the rebound and I think that’swhere the difference was.

“We encouraged our quick runners and ball-users at three quarter time to tackle,tuck the ball under their wing and go with it.”

It was another missed opportunity for Rokewood-Corindhap, which performed wellin the midfield, but struggled to capitalise on its good work with scores.

Too often the Grasshoppers missed easy shots on goal or failed to hit targets in theirforward 50m.

Coach Michael Hynes described the result as “frustrating”.

“Our inability to use the football costs us week in, week out,” Hynes said.

“We continually don’t take our opportunities in the forward line and turn the footyover. Our last month of footy has been really good, and our contested footy, but wecontinually cough the ball up and don’t kick goals when we’re having easy set shots.

“It’s very disappointing and frustrating.”

Forward Cauis Barrenger was excellent for the Emerald Grain Grasshoppers, kicking three goals,while the performance of Jake Weston was also a highlight.

For the Magpies,utility Nick Hind showcased his class,as did Josh Lee.

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