It’s the first time since 2013 that East Wagga-Kooringal haven’t been among the last three teams still standing but for the Hawks, the disappointment was mostly about the way their season ended.
For the third time this year, they were unable to put Temora away, falling to a five-point loss in a disappointing display. It was tough to watch, particularly for a coach.
“It was probably one of our worst performances for the year, I reckon, so that was very hard – on such a beautiful day, bathed in sunshine, perfect conditions, we just went away from our style of footy and made it hard for ourselves all day,” EWK’s Matt Hard said.
Hard said he didn’t see a poor performance coming.
“Not at all. We had a good week on the track. We know we weren’t great last week (against CSU) but we knew where we had to get to. But we were very disappointing. We lacked a bit of spark throughout. To go down, the way we played, it’s very disappointing,” he said.
The Hawks led at every change and – until that critical point late in the game – never let Temora kick consecutive goals in a quarter.
But their leads at the three breaks were all by less than a goal and – in a game crying out for someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck – they just couldn’t find a matchwinner to carry them home.
“Five points, it hurts,” Hard said. “Even right to the end, playing as bad we were, we were still a chance. But we didn’t deserve to win and that’s what happens I guess.”