Cougars on top after comfortable win

CULBURRA moved into first place on the Shoalhaven Football ladder with a comfortable 3-nil home victory against Huskisson on Saturday. 

The Cougars opened their account after 20 minutes, when some nice lead up play from Aaron Mason, Kieran Witt and Dale Blundell paved the way for Blair Sutherland to put a header into the back of the net. 

A second goal from a header to Daniel Wells before half-time gave the home side a handy 2-nil lead at the break. 

The home side was presented with a number of chances in the second half and they were able to captialise on one of their opportunities to wrap up the three-nil result. 

Culburra coach Tony Gauci said he was pretty happy with the result and with how the whole club is travelling at the moment. 

“I think we’ve still got a little bit of improvement in us, but with the way we’re going, I can’t really complain,” he said. 

“The loss to Bomaderry was probably a bit of a wake up call, but we also had a lot of players come back.

“I’ve probably got about 17 or 18 guys who can play first grade, so the pressure is going to be on to keep spots.

“Then you’ve got the other coaches; Matt Cooper, Adam Parsons and Peter Webb who are all doing a great job with lower grades and that makes my job a lot easier.” 

Huskisson coach Ian Osterloh said they knew they were always going to be in for a tough game, but was disappointed with the result. 

“I’d say playing Culburra at Culburra is probably the toughest game in the competition and we just weren’t up to it,” he said. 

“We let in a couple of soft goals and we’re still struggling to put goals in the back of the net,” he added. 

Osterloh named their goalkeeper Tim Eastman, who was backing up from playing reserves as their best player and thought Jake Malligan and Alex Boardman also played well. 

Gauci said it was a strong effort from their whole team, but thought Daniel Wells and Blair Sutherland were the standouts. 

Gauci expected he might have a few sleepless nights with selection dilemmas, but is otherwise looking forward to next week’s clash with Illaroo. 

“Timbsy will have them all fired up for that one, so it’ll be tough for sure,” he said. 

“The way the competition is going, you don’t really know what’s going to happen, so we have got be on our game,” he added. 

Huskisson are back at home against Shoalhaven Heads and Osterloh thinks they have every chance of breaking their early season drought. 

“Season’s aren’t won or lost in the first few rounds,” he said.

“Last year we didn’t lose a single game in the first round of matches and we still didn’t make the finals. 

“This year it might be the back end of the season where we perform, so I think we’ve still got plenty of time to find our feet.” 

STANDOUT: Blair Sutherland was one of Culburra’s standouts during their 3-nil win against Huskisson. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

STANDOUT: Blair Sutherland was one of Culburra’s standouts during their 3-nil win against Huskisson. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

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