SPRINGWOOD had to come from behind several times to seal their second win of the season in a thriller against Coolangatta at Lowe Oval on Saturday.

By Terry Wilson

The Pumas kicked the last three goals of the match to win by 18.11 (119) to 16.8 (104), a result that avenged their 126-point loss to the Blues in round three.
But it took a hell of a fight to get there after the Pumas blew leads of 18 points (quarter-time) and 38 points (half-time).
The returns of tall timber, ruckman Tiger Monk and forward Andrew Sponneck, certainly helped the Pumas’ cause after Coolangatta hit the lead in both the third and fourth quarters.
When Daniel Hawkins tore the Pumas apart to start the third term, things looked stick for the home side but for once the youthful Springwood side dug in and deservedly took the points.
The opening half was the killer, said Coolangatta coach Neil Mackay.
You have to hammer inexperienced sides early, he said, but the Blues failed to do this and paid the price.
“Against a side like Springwood you have to hammer them early and they start to not believe. We let them believe,” he said.
“In the first half we gave them the lead and when you give a young team a sniff they get excited.
“Our poor attitude in the first quarter gave them a six-goals start – and then you’re chasing.
“You can use all the footy terminologies – second to the ball, slow, not ready for a contest. Springwood were up and buzzing around.
“We didn’t deserve to win after that first half.”
Springwood football manager Adrian Wallin said the presence of Monk and Sponneck back in the side lifted the younger players.
Matt Hockley had a superb game at centre half-back and at times up forward, where he finished with three goals, to be the Pumas’ best.
Sponneck at full-forward kicked four in a pleasing performance, Monk excelled in the ruck and his back-up Blake Walllis also did some good things.
Hawkins on the ball and up forward was best for Coolangatta, Ben Dovey was praised by Mackay for his efforts when things were going wrong in the first half and on-baller Jake Byrush also did his bit.
But the Blues paid a heavy price, losing promising 19-year-old first-gamer Jim Barrett to a serious knee injury, as well as Emmaus Wartuvo (hamstring) and Mark Greeney (ankle/knee).
“We lost the game, we lost three players and we lost respect,” was the perfect summing-up of coach Mackay.

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