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Best: Uysal, Johns, Allan, Clifton, Hartley, Linton
Goals: Johns 3, Younan 2, Venditti 2, Hill 2, Cooper, Uysal, Thomas
Midfielders Ozzie Uysal and Lachie Johns led an inspired Coburg side to another breakout win, this time a 35-point victory over Port Melbourne at North Port Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Uysal collected a team-high 37 possessions and was a driving force for Coburg all day. He had eight inside 50s but it was his long goal from outside the arc in the second term that kick-started Coburg’s revival. Johns was also a constant presence for the Burgers. His three important goals added to a strong 26-possession performance highlight by his trademark dash.
Lachie Johns seals the victory with this long range effort in the last quarter.
Danny Younan, Daniel Venditti and Dion Hill – who had a handful of score involvements to set up his fellow forwards – kicked two goals each.
Both teams came to play from the opening bounce, with a tough midfield battle resulting in neither side scoring for over ten minutes. Younan broke the deadlock with a nice finish on the run after Johns stuck a strong tackle and was rewarded.
The Borough responded with two quick late goals to hold a slender lead at quarter-time of a very even, high-pressure game.
Coburg continued to struggle with quality inside 50 entries - forwards couldn’t have an impact when the ball was regularly kicked to four-on-one contents. Hill chimed in moments after Uysal’s long bomb before the experienced Venditti was the only player to keep his feet in a goal-square contest, allowing the easiest of goals.
It had been a tough grind but the Burgers closed the gap and worked themselves back into the game to steal the half-time lead.
Nick Linton excelled in one-one-one battles but also beat his direct opponent by spoiling in the air and applying big tackles. Ben Clifton (20 disposals) had an impact at every contest he got to and used his strength to protect his teammates. Errol McConnell – who spent parts of the game in a run-with role on Port’s damaging Huge Sandilands – and Tom Goodwin also impressed.
A fortunate bounce and silky sidestep helped Younan kick his second and get the Burgers off to the perfect start in the third. Coburg’s good ball use saw players backing themselves to take riskier kicks into the corridor to set up better inside 50 entries. The Lions added another two majors – via Hill and Johns – before Venditti booted his second with the siren sounding as it sailed through.
Things looked ominous as Port wasted no time in kicking the first goal of the last term but, as they did last week against Footscray, Coburg held strong – kicking the last four majors to notch another important win.