WILSTON-Grange’s shot at a drought-breaking premiership has been hurt by a season-ending injury to skipper David Tough.
Tough, the former Morningside player, sustained a double fracture of an arm as the Gorillas beat Burleigh by 19.23 (137) to 12.13 (85) at Bill Godfrey Oval on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
The injury comes as a major blow for coach David Martin, although the circumstances surrounding the matter did not sit well with him.
Martin was obviously not happy to lose his captain so close to the finals.
He accepted the incident as part and parcel of football, Martin said Tough was over the ball when he was hit front-on and cleaned up by a Burleigh player.
That issue aside, the Gorillas were way too good for the Bombers, a side who continue to play like they cannot wait for the season to end.
With a top-three finals berth in sight – the Grange are one of four sides on 48 points with one round to go – Martin feels there are still some areas to brush up on.
“We weren’t too bad in patches again,” he said.
“Burleigh came out nice and hard, we weathered that, and in the second quarter we put a gap on them.
“Then in the third quarter we had five touches to start and we ended up kicking 1.6 for the term.”
“What we have to learn to do if we get on top of sides is to make sure we put them away.”
Victory broke a four-match losing streak by the Grange at Bill Godfrey Oval and soured a special day in Burleigh’s history.
On Saturday Marcus Powell was playing his 100th game, veteran Peter Laenger was playing his last game at Bomber headquarters and there was a reunion of the club’s 2001 premiership side.
But after a good opening term, after which the visitors led by 4.6 to 3.3, there was not too much to cheer about.
For the Gorillas, Lee Smith in the middle was excellent, Hugh Campbell did a good job tagging Burleigh’s goalsneak Nathan Sullivan, midfielder Elliott Hohenhaus was in the thick throughout and ruckman James McMahon stood out.
Best for Burleigh were milestone celebrant Marcus Powell in the middle, fellow midfielder Matt Jamieson, defender Tim McKay and Matt Garland were best.