THE Anzac weekend match between the Bega Bombers and Tathra Sea Eagles is being hailed as a massive success by organisers.
The Sea Eagles clinched the match in the dying minutes 92-81 after Bega had come within one point.
Senior coach of Tathra Luke Taylor and Bombers senior coach Matt Fleet said they were delighted with the game and the crowd on Saturday.
“It was really good to be a part of the Anzac weekend,” Taylor said.
“It’s always a privilege, we wanted to make a big deal of it and it ran really smoothly.
“Bega will host it next year at their ground,” he said.
Both clubs held a moment’s silence as the Last Post played before the match.
Taylor said Australians enjoy freedoms like weekend football thanks to the sacrifices of our troops.
“We are very privileged to go out and play footy each week, and it wouldn’t be that way without the Anzacs,” he said.
The first quarter saw intense play right across the middle as both sides vied for early control.
The scoreboard maintained a balance as well, with Tathra just slipping one goal ahead early.
Taylor said his squad was ready for a stronger Bega side than they had faced previously.
“We knew that Bega would come out quietly confident, we’re a vastly different side than last year.
“We haven’t been in a close-scoring situation like that over the past four years really.
“I was very proud of the boys’ efforts to pull out the performance given the situation,” he said.
Taylor said he didn’t quite expect the rounded performance which saw Bega come within a point of victory.
“Bega came up well, obviously I’m happy for us to pick up the win.
“But it was a really good game of football and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Brad McBain was the dominant attacker for the Sea Eagles kicking seven goals.
Meanwhile, veteran Dean Gartside was not to be left out kicking three goals to add to the score.
The Bombers had Marty Scott-Thomas, Cody Hazelgrove-Danvers and Mitch Bucholtz all adding three goals to the total.
By halftime the Sea Eagles had opened up a 21-point lead, but were unable to capitalise as the Bombers reeled them back in the final quarter.
Jason D’Arcy was working valiantly through the midfield for the Bombers, while Nathan Carpenter played one his best games yet.
“He’s playing really good fotball at the moment,” a spectator said.
Bucholtz excelled in the defence, while Chris Dwyer combined well with Hazelgrove-Danvers to push play forward.
Meanwhile, Taylor said David Little was exceptional for the Sea Eagles.
“He was just amazing really – I said it to one of the other players it was one of the best games I’ve ever seen anyone play.
“He has no respect for his body, it was quite inspirational really.
“The way he throws himself in to contests is amazing.
“He would have taken 25 plus marks on the weekend and most of them were contested,” he said.
In the final quarter Bega posted a snap of quick-fire goals to have the Bombers within just one point of Tathra.
However, the Sea Eagles were able to consolidate play and pick up two late goal efforts to secure a win.
Taylor put it down to experience, but said Bega is on the track to be a strong team.
“I think one thing puts us apart from Bega is we have had a lot more practice at Aussie rules over the years and our experience and our skill level was the telling factor.
“We held on to possession as long as we could – we were waiting for the siren to be honest,” he said.
Taylor said the close contests were both better for spectators and “character building” for the club.
“Previously, you nearly knew the result before you went out there, but now this year will be really fun being close contests.
“The supporters on the weekend will admit it’s better footy to see the game in a tight tussle.
“It’s good viewing for everyone.”
The Tathra club is having a
“show your colours” meeting tonight to gauge community support for the club.
The meeting will take place at the club rooms at Lawrence Park, Tathra, from 6.30pm.
“We are inviting everyone who’s been involved in the club over 30 years to have discussions on the club’s future,” Taylor said.
“We want to make everybody aware of where we are at and see if anyone wants to jump on board.
“There will be food and the bar available,” he said.