Relief and reward were the words of the day at Charles Sturt University on Saturday after the Bushpigs broke through for their first win.
After meeting the top three teams on the ladder in a brutal start to the season, CSU put it together against Barellan at Peter Hastie Oval, kicking away to a 53-point win.
The 15.11 (101) to 7.6 (48) victory was also the first success for coach Pat Noonan in his first season in charge.
“It’s a bit of relief for myself, but I’m just so proud of the boys and the way they went about it,” Noonan said.
“They’ve been working so hard since November so it’s a good reward to actually get a W. We’ve had three really hard games and now it’s just good to have that positive come out of it.”
It was an accomplished effort from the home side who worked their way to a comprehensive win.
After leading by a goal at quarter-time, the Bushpigs dominated the second quarter, holding Barellan scoreless for a 32-point lead.
The Two Blues were back to within three goals twice in the third, but two good Shane Carroll goals – one on the run and one set shot – restored CSU’s handy advantage.
Big man Vas Seker (three goals) took some strong marks forward but was even more damaging in the ruck to lead a good midfield performance from Rob Herzfeld and Louis Miller.
Lucas Hails was a surprise packet up forward. He and Joe Stapleton also kicked three and the Bushpigs finished the game off strongly.
“We moved it really well today but I think we’re still developing with that. We’re still going forward in a sense. We’re by no means stopping there,” Noonan said.
“We always talk about not just relying on the top three or four blokes. It’s everyone out there. Everyone out there is a leader and everyone out there is accountable for what they need to do.”
The win takes CSU to sixth on the ladder and facing a big game next round against the Northern Jets who sit below them on percentage.
Sean Ellis was the pick of the Two Blues, constantly proving a handful and kicking their first three goals, while Mitchell Hawker, Shaun Bourchier and Will Overs were busy at the back.