DESPITE a loss to the Panthers, the Bega Bombers had plenty of home-grown pride on Friday night.
Wearing special jerseys to show support for their Indigenous players and fans, the Bombers went down to competition favourite Pambula.
The Bombers lost 7.6 (48) to Pambula’s 18.8 (116).
Despite the loss, Bombers stalwart Michael Sturgess said it was “one of the most satisfying games I’ve been involved with”.
Sturgess said it was a strong showing from the home side.
“Pambula had their best side in and are undefeated,” Sturgess said.
“What we had that Pambula didn’t is heart.
“There wasn’t one player in the side that didn’t give us 110 per cent.
“We went out there knowing we were playing the best side in the competition.”
As part of the Indigenous celebrations, Bega Elder Faith Aldridge gave a Welcome to Country.
Meanwhile, Eden pastor Ossie Cruse performed for the crowd on a gum leaf.
Sturgess said it was great to put on a strong show for fans during the Indigenous round.
“As soon as the boys put on those jerseys they stepped up.
“Even up to the last minute our guys were hitting hard.
“I said it last week and now I’m sure of it, Pambula would have been feeling it on Saturday,” he said.
Sturgess said the club’s concerns about on-field discipline did not recur on Friday.
“There was the odd free kick, but we didn’t give away any 50-metre penalties.
“The boys need to give themselves a pat on the back.”
Sturgess said every aspect of the game was done well.
“The umpiring was fair and balanced, it was good to see them keeping the flow of the game going.
“And the interchange ran well all night.”
Sturgess said there were some standout efforts on Friday.
“One of the biggest highlights of the night was Nathan Carpenter’s goal.
“He took a brilliant mark up the front then put boot to ball right through the posts,” he said.
The match is one to be proud of Sturgess said.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t win, but we knew what we had done and everyone walked off smiling.”