Marrar face an anxious build-up to their finals campaign with ruckman Matt Parks and forward Brad Moye putting a scare through the camp with injuries in Saturday’s 25-point win against the Northern Jets.
The Bombers locked down top spot with a hard-fought 12.10 (82) to 8.9 (57) victory at Ariah Park and hope the week off at the start of finals will allow both to be fit.
The news on Parks was far better than first feared, with X-rays clearing him of a broken leg after he was taken to hospital by ambulance in the third quarter.
His recovery from a muscle injury will be a wait-and-see proposition, while Moye rolled an ankle but is expected to be right in three weeks’ time.
“He was hobbling a bit and he’ll be 50/50 for this week (against Barellan) but he’ll be 100 percent for the first final,” Marrar coach Shane Lenon said.
The minor premiership was hardly in doubt but confirmation was welcome.
“It’s good, it’s reward for effort and consistency,” Lenon said. “But obviously it gives us the week off. You’d certainly take it if it was offered to you at the start of the year.”
The Bombers didn’t have things their own way against the Jets, down by a goal at quarter-time.
Kicking four goals to one in the second quarter shifted the game in their favour and – despite numerous challenges from the Jets – they were able to maintain the momentum.
A 12-point lead at half-time was stretched to 17 at three-quarter-time and four goals at the finish.
“It was a pretty tough game, they kept coming and obviously it was 25 points at the end but that would’ve been the biggest lead of the game,” Lenon said.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game out at Ariah Park with their finals chances on the line and they played accordingly.
“That was the best thing – we absorbed what they were able to throw at us and stood up in the last quarter.
“It was a good win.”
Centre-half-forward Jordan Matthews found form, finishing with three goals, as did Brad Turner.
But Marrar’s win was again set up at the back, particularly Clint Taylor, Mitch Taylor and Jack Reynolds.
The Jets were led by the old and the young – Chris Bell and Jeromy Lucas – while Mitch Haddrill and Alex Rogers were also strong.
Their finals hopes rest on beating East Wagga-Kooringal in the final round at Ariah Park next Saturday.