Big surge wins Hawks’ dominant term enough

By Tyler Maher

A damaging half-hour of football was enough for Barooga to record a comfortable 39-point victory against Echuca United on Saturday.

The Hawks booted seven consecutive majors from late in the first term until early in the third at Echuca South Recreation Reserve, taking the game completely away from the home side.

Matt Demaio was the hero up forward with five majors from about a dozen shots on goal for Barooga, while Brodie A’Vard was a man mountain in the ruck and dominated for the entire contest.

Former AFL journeyman Cameron Cloke made his Murray Football League debut for the visitors, working his way into the crucial fixture and finishing with two goals to his name.

‘‘I think it was probably Matty’s best performance for the year,’’ Barooga co-coach James Hazelman said.

‘‘He’s been building the past month and putting in a lot of hard work.

‘‘With Cameron it probably took us and him a little bit to adapt, but as the game wore on you could see why he’ll be a huge asset for us, even with ruck work up forward.’’

The Eagles started the game in outstanding fashion with a ferocious attack on the football, allowing the outfit to secure the first six inside 50s and two goals of the contest.

But from there the Hawks lifted their own intensity and quickly took control of proceedings.

A pair of 50m penalties late in the term — which resulted in Will Gorman goals — did nothing to help Echuca United’s cause, and by the time Kyle Armstrong broke Barooga’s run of goals after half-time, it was far too late to have any impact on the final result.

Wade Demasi, Callum Leighton-Daly, Brent Downie, Brendan Goesch and the electric Billy Andrew (two goals) also stood out for the Hawks across the contest.

The performances of Sam Toulmin, Nic Denahy and Kyle Coates provided the Eagles with the ability to win the second half, while Peter Quanchi and Jordan Florance snared two goals apiece in the defeat.

The only concern for Barooga after the game looked to be potential injuries to Leighton-Daly and Gorman, who received attention from the club’s trainers during the second half.

‘‘Obviously the scoreboard didn’t tick over a lot in the second half, which was probably because we had a couple of sore boys who couldn’t run out the game,’’ Hazelman said.

‘‘They’re not massive concerns, but they weren’t much chop to us in the second half. I definitely think they should be right for next week.’’

Other results allowed the Eagles to remain only a game outside the top eight ahead of a derby against Moama next weekend, while the Hawks sit behind Nathalia in second on percentage and face Mulwala in round 13.