MARRAR produced a big last quarter to run away with a 40-point victory over East Wagga-Kooringal in the top of the table Farrer League clash on Saturday.
Up by nine points at three-quarter-time and the game in the balance, Marrar kicked six goals to one in the final term to cement top spot on the ladder with a 13.7 (85) to 6.9 (45) win at Gumly Oval.
The Bombers got right on top in the midfield in the all-important final term and had too much run for the Hawks.
Marrar coach Shane Lenon was rapt to move a game clear on top but was certainly not getting ahead of himself.
"It's one v two on their home deck, we knew it was going to be a tough game and they certainly turned up to play and it took us nearly three and a half quarters to crack them," Lenon said.
"They've still got a couple of key personnel to come in and they'll be better down the track. So we beat them today and it was a good win, and we're obviously happy with the win but we've got to keep improving and keep working hard and if we meet them down the track, they'll probably field a stronger side on paper."
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Marrar kicked the first three goals of the game inside the opening 10 minutes to lead by 20 points but the remainder of the first half belonged to EWK.
The Hawks closed the gap to two points at quarter-time and then controlled most of the second term but didn't quite make the most of it.
They kicked 1.4 and kept Marrar scoreless up until a crucial Chris O'Donnell goal just before half-time that reduced the home team's advantage to two points.
New Marrar recruit Jordan Hedington made his mark on the game in the third quarter, winning three centre clearances and kicking a nice goal as the Bombers got on top.
They kicked three goals to one for the term to lead by nine points, but the game was well and truly up for grabs.
But Marrar picked up where they left off, and found an extra gear or two, putting the Hawks to the sword with a six-goal final term to run out convincing 40-point winners.
Lenon conceded the Bombers were forced to 'hang tough' at times.
"Obviously we had a good start, we kicked the first three, we were winning the ball at the contest and then East Wagga got on top in that area, the second half of the first quarter and probably for the first 12 or 14 minutes of the second quarter we were on the back foot as well," he said.
"But we hung in and reduced the damage on the scoreboard but we were certainly on the back foot. Chris O'Donnell kicked that late goal in the second quarter, which was important, but our pressure to just hang in was really good. The second quarter was a real battle.
"The third quarter was similar, a battle. Then the last quarter we upped the ante, we started to get some good clearances and our tackling was absolutely outstanding in the last quarter.
"We dropped off a few tackles up until then and that was one of our focuses at three-quarter-time. We focused all our energies on winning the ball."
Chris O'Donnell led the charge for Marrar, with a tough display on-ball, while also kicking two goals either side of the half-time break.
Billy Toy was outstanding through the midfield, while fellow midfielders Jackson Moye and Sam Emery weren't far behind.
Hedington also showed he will be a valuable addition for the Bombers.
"He showed plenty. He's going to be a good player," Lenon said.
Nathan Scott was very good for EWK, controlling play from half-back throughout the contest. Kyle North-Flanagan had an entertaining dual with Nick Molkentin in the ruck, as they both won plenty of football behind the ball, while Kade Rowbotham and Heath Northery tried hard throughout.
Key forward Jarrad Boumann was a late withdrawal, while the Hawks also picked up a fresh injury concern with Luke Cuthbert not finishing the game out.
Marrar Bombers 3.3 4.3 7.5 13.7 (85)
EWK Hawks 3.1 4.5 5.8 6.9 (45)
GOALS: Marrar Bombers: Z.Walgers 3, T.Lawler 2, C.ODonnell 2, J.Hedington 1, A.Kent 1, C.Gardner 1, S.Emery 1, C.Graetz 1, J.Reynolds 1; EWK Hawks: H.Northey 2, L.Adams 2, R.Bourne 1, B.Argus 1
BEST: Marrar Bombers: C.ODonnell, S.Emery, T.Lawler, J.Hedington, F.Jenkins, J.Moye; EWK Hawks: K.North-flanagan, J.Cooper, R.Bourne, K.Rowbotham, H.Fitzsimmons, N.Scott
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