A match-winning goal in the dying seconds from Apollo Bay recruit Jake Barlow has given the Hawks’ finals aspirations a major boost.
A loss to Simpson would have dropped the Hawks out of the top five, but now sits two wins clear of the sixth-placed Tigers after the 8.15 (63) to 9.7 (61) win.
Apollo Bay coach Brent Macleod said he was proud of the way his team scrapped to victory without a stack of key players, including forwards Damien Zaparenkov and Jayden Ettridge, utilities Ezrah Robertson and Jack James, midfielder Luke Souter and interleague defender Sam Edwards.
“To be honest the group had been pretty defeated by those two tight losses we’d had to Alvie and South Colac, especially after being three goals up in both and having them taken away,” Macleod said.
“Then on Saturday, we had a ton of players out, against a very good side in Simpson, we put in a terrible first half and were down by 20 points at half time,” he said.
“But that second half we just turned things around and played the brand of footy we were after; we stopped them getting uncontested marks and won it at the coalface.”
See today’s Colac Herald for more.