STRONG, hard-fought footy was on offer at Coburg City Oval as West Coburg and Avondale Heights went about proving they are much better than their ladder positions suggest.
The big ground seemed small early with many numbers around the ball, so clearances were hard to come by.
It was close early and West Coburg seemed quicker and more explosive, yet failed to convert some simple opportunities in front of goal.
These turnovers and forward entries with no reward cost West Coburg a hefty lead in the first half, while Avondale Heights converted on even the smallest of opportunities.
These opportunities started in defence where run from behind and handballing out of the back line made for exciting, quick play.
This was highlighted through Heights’ Ciaran Sheehan, whose contested marking, pace and poise off half back was a real lift for the away team while they were bombarded with forward entries.
At the other end Dinny Cleary used his speed to create numerous inside 50s and dominated out of clearances for West Coburg.
The Burgers had their chances but Donald McDonald’s tactic of a spare man back for the Heights and many missed chances for the home side made it a close encounter through the first three quarters.
A real workhorse for West Coburg was Daniel Archer, who worked hard up the ground all day and could not be stopped on the lead, clunking many contested marks.
He led the way for the home side and brought the crowd into it with his size and strength around contests.
Avondale Heights’ intensity coming out of the half time break was on another level.
The visitors’ tackling pressure and ruthless intensity at the contest came to the fore in the third quarter.
Former Blue Dennis Armfield, in arguably his best outing for the Heights yet, was crucial with his repeat efforts, tackling, burst out of packs and clutch assists, and even added a late goal as his side managed to maintain their lead.
Quick ball use from West Coburg made for some eye-catching footy, yet their inability to finish cost them dearly on the scoreboard.
The Burgers only kicked three goals after quarter time and ended the game with more scoring shots than the victors.
On the other hand, with a high conversion rate in front of goal and a belief that at their best, they can beat anyone, Avondale Heights finished with a commanding four goals to one in the last quarter and came away with a 29-point victory.
WEST COBURG 5.14-44
Goal Kickers: M. Saad 2, D. Johncock, D. Archer, A. Dounias
Best Players: D. Cleary, D. Lucas, S. MacAodha, T. Baravi, D. Archer, M. Abdulwahed
AVONDALE HEIGHTS 11.7-73
Goal Kickers: J. Yamak 3, S. Clouston 2, D. Armfield 2, B. Robb 2, J. Morris, T. Jeffries
Best Players: S. Clouston, N. Byrne, L. Edwards, C. Sheehan, F. MuscarÃ, B. Robb