TWO late Dubbo Demons goals denied Bathurst Giants victory in a bruising AFL Central West contest at South Dubbo Oval.
Demons’ accuracy in front of goal and their physicality were the biggest contributing factors to their crucial 12-9-81 to 8-16-64 win.
Victory has reignited the Demons’ finals hopes while the Giants, down in personnel for the contest, have dropped to third on percentage.
Giants coach Mark Kennedy said the match was one of the more physical encounters the team have gone through this year.
“Dubbo are always strong at home. Dubbo mentioned that they would target our younger players and be more physical, which they were, but almost to the point where it became a vicious game,” he said.
“The were a number of scuffles in the game and a [Demons] send off.
“We’re trying to get our team to play a free-flowing, positive game of football and to have a team come out and attack players, and lay hits is something I’m quite disappointed with.”
Giants’ scoring shots outnumbered the Demons 24 to 21 but the high number of behinds came back to bite the Bathurst men.
Despite the inaccuracy Giants managed to remain in touch with Dubbo throughout the game, rallying at the start of the fourth quarter.
However, late goals for the hosts got them their revenge over the Giants after the Bathurst side’s 71-point win back in May.
“They applied a lot of pressure to our forward line. As you can see, 8-16 is not very good,” Kennedy said.
“That’s something we can improve on. We’ll work on that.
“There were a lot of positives still to come out of it. It’s good to know that we can recover well and we can take the punishment that other teams dish out.
“Sam Sloan was our players player and Simon Kay was extremely strong for us in the back line. Nic Broes had an outstanding game in the midfield.”