THE Bega Bombers missed out on an opportunity to secure a finals position on Friday night, falling to a 26-point loss at the hands of the Narooma Lions.
A win would have guaranteed a place in the top five, but the Bega outfit remains a strong chance to qualify, needing just one win from its remaining three encounters to progress.
Senior coach Matt Fleet said the side is staying positive despite the most recent result.
“It was really disappointing; we were quietly confident, but to their credit, they really turned up to play,” he said.
“They did the same thing to us earlier in the year when we went up there.
“We might have got a bit complacent and thought things were going to go our way, but we’ve got to remember that you can’t do that when you’re sitting in fifth place and chasing a spot in the finals.”
Fleet lamented his side’s poor discipline, saying it would be one of the major areas to focus on at training this week.
He said the Bombers would not be relying on other results to fall their way, and are determined to secure some wins and build momentum on the cusp of the post-season.
“It’s all in our hands, and we know that we’ve got to win at least one of those last three games to be guaranteed a spot.
“We’ll start favourites in our last game at Eden, but they’ll bring a red-hot side and we’ll need to play well.
“We’ve picked up a few injuries and will have a massive test ahead of us against Pambula on Saturday, and Tathra will be favourites to beat us the week after that.
“We’ve just got to keep turning up and working hard to make sure we’re improving, and taking each week as it comes.”
Fleet singled out Shannon Shepherdson for praise after Friday’s match, while also noting the solid defensive performance of Larry Fuller.
The Bombers will now travel to Pambula Sporting Complex on Saturday, where the undefeated Panthers await them.
The bounce is at 2.15pm, and the club is urging its supporters to support the boys as they push for a finals appearance.
Meanwhile, this round's SCAFL action also saw local rivals Merimbula and Eden battle it out at the Merimbula RSL Club, with the home side prevailing 165-16 in a landslide result.
Players observed a minute's silence in honour of MH17 victims Mary and Gerry Menke, whose son Paul plays for Merimbula.
The win puts the Diggers into outright second, one win ahead of the Bermagui Breakers, who went down by 100 points to the undefeated Pambula side.