North Wagga co-coach Chad Hamblin paid tribute to his brother Kirk and ruckman Jeremy Luff after the Saints secured a double chance in the finals, and brought Marrar’s season to an abrupt end.
In an open but low-scoring affair at Langtry Oval on Saturday, the Saints hit the front just after halftime and refused to surrender the lead to Marrar – whose finals fate was sealed when Coleambally beat Temora.
Brad Langtry put the Bombers within a goal early in the final term but with Luff outstanding in the middle, the Saints kicked out to win 9.4 (58) to 6.6 (42).
“There’s probably been two standouts for us all year and that’s Jeremy Luff and my little brother Kirky,” Chad Hamblin said.
“They played absolutely cracking games today...Luffy didn’t really lose a contest and Kirky, he’s our barometer, so when those two boys are up, we’re up.”
Corey Watt was also instrumental in giving North Wagga plenty of drive while Ben Alexander kept busy.
The game summed up Marrar’s season with the Bombers good in patches but hurt by errors and exposed by a lack of forward options.
Devastated coach Nic Casey made a harsh admission following the game and couldn’t help but look back on a difficult year.
“When I was appointed back in September we had a good list and we were able to build on it but over the way we just kept losing blokes, and losing key blokes,” Casey said.
“At the end of the day, we probably didn’t deserve to be in it.”
Veteran defender Clint Taylor kept Marrar in the game with an outstanding performance at centre halfback and even went forward in the final quarter as the Bombers searched desperately for goals.
“I don’t care what people say, Clint Taylor was the best player in this district by that far, it’s not funny,” Casey said.
“If you gave me an option between a Marc Geppert or a Clint Taylor, I’d take Clint Taylor every day of the week.”
Marrar’s Jake Hindmarsh was reported for unduly rough play when Chris Leywood was flung into the bench after frustrations boiled over late in the final term.
NORTH WAGGA (58)
0.2 3.2 6.4 9.4
2.4 3.5 4.5 6.6
Goals: (North Wagga) C Willis 3, H McLachlan 2, K Hamblin 2, H Grentell, L Gaffney; (Marrar) M O'Brien, S Macintosh, K Roberts, J Ryder, B Langtry, M Taylor.
Best: (North Wagga) K Hamblin, J Luff, C Watt , B Alexander, L Gaffney, M Mullins; (Marrar) C Taylor, K Roberts, J Hanlon, J Moye, B Langtry, M Molkentin.
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