In what could only be described as a very flat performance at Jubilee Park, Tungamah suffered a 16 point defeat at the hands of a very determined Waaia on Saturday.
The start of the game was an indication of things to come as Waaia won centre clearances to score the first three goals of the match.
Glenn Dominick was working hard in the ruck along with the likes of Bodhi Butts, Damien Powell and Tom Wilson with Dan Clarke and Leigh Howroyd busy down back.
Late goals to Matt Clark and Duane Haebich saw the Bears claw back to be only six points down at the first break.
The start of the second term looked promising as the ball movement and intensity at the contest improved resulting in majors to Damien Powell, Jez O’Brien and Ash Saunders, opening up a two goal lead.
However Waaia were there to play and piled on the next four goals with their constant run and spread, along with accurate kicking.
Two late goals to Saunders saw the Bears go in at half time eight points down.
The message was clear at half time that players needed to show more intensity at the contest as well as providing protection for each other and for the first half of the third term there were more blocks and run through from Brady Hayes, Butts and Howroyd and great tackles by the likes of Matt Clark and Tom Wilson resulting in goals.
Saunders kicked another to give Tungamah a ten point lead but once again the boys lapsed to see Waaia kick the next three and lead by eight points at the final break.
The final term was more of the same with Tungamah surging but failing to go on with the job as Waaia put on four in a row and put the result to rest as they dominated the centre clearances.
A 16 point loss with plenty of work to do in what is shaping up to be a more even competition than the Picola League has seen for a while.
Coach Nick Doyle implored his players after the match to be dedicated in their approach to preparing for games with their fitness and team-oriented way of thinking.
A home game against Katunga next week will be another test.
No anticipation is greater than the week before a Waaia clash.
Tungamah’s average age rose with the inclusions of Lawless, True, Buerkner and Walker.
The first quarter saw outstanding performances from Jack Connell and Tom Flanagan.
The back six held together well and repelled multiple attacks.
Waaia made the most of the centre clearances however were stopped in the Bears’ defensive 50.
Waaia kicked the first goal of the second quarter and soon after the game slowed right down and became a battle for possessions and territory.
Through Dylan Chung, Tungamah managed one goal late in the quarter.
By half time Tungamah had only kicked two goals and the discussion was about standards and accountability and lifting their run.
Corey Bourke stood up and marked and tackled strongly.
One goal in the third quarter meant the Bears needed to lift in the last and play catch up footy. Chungy delivered again and Josh Pettit kicked a 70 metre bomb to put the Bears within a kick until Waaia kicked away through their experienced players.
Score: Waaia 8.9.57 def Tungamah 5.7.37.
Goals: Chung 3, Bozzola 1, Pettit 1.
Awards: Auction Player Mitch Adkins, Terminus Hotel Mitch Adkins, Crusty Loaf Dan Whykes, Cellarbrations Tom Flanagan.
This was a very important game for the boys versus Waaia, as the teams were sitting 4th and 5th on the ladder on equal points and a loss could jeopardise playing finals.
The scoreboard probably flattered Tungamah as they played some pretty average football for most of the game.
The Bears controlled the game from early on, with Wally Thomson leading from the front, playing a blinder of a game, showing his trademark blistering pace.
Tre Johnson went down just before quarter time with a bad ankle injury.
Liam Connell was doing well in the ruck contests, giving Blayze Young-Mail a chance to show his talents with many forward thrusts.
The Elliott brothers of Lachie and Tom were steadfast in defence, supported well by Jack Clarke and Angus Heslin who played a very valuable game, taking some strong marks.
Blake Adkins contributed nicely with pace and Brandon Einsporn was his usual consistent self.
Oscar Willis again stepped up from the fourths and played another good game, contributing on the scoreboard.
Fletcher Wallden and Henry Lonergan played this week, it was good to see the old Bears coming back to the pit and wearing Tungamah colours.
Score: Tungamah 12.18.90 def Waaia 2.1.13.
Awards: Wally Thomson Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, Liam Connell Wingates, Blake Adkins Crusty Loaf Bakery, Angus Heslin Tungamah Shop, Blayze Young-Mail Tungamah Canteen.
Next week is a tough assignment for the boys, hosting Katunga who sit third and the Bears are fourth.
Tungamah will need to improve substantially next week, to have a chance of upsetting Katunga, which is not beyond them so a big week at training this week beckons.