It was an important game especially for Encounter Bay at home against top side Langhorne Creek.
They needed a win, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way they started.
The Hawks had the breeze and took control from the outset. B
Bays were making mistakes.
Kellock intercepted and goaled, McLeod kicked another and Creek had winners running everywhere.
Bays were rattled as the Creeks kicked a couple more to finish the term 4.1 to Encounter Bay 0.2.
It got worse for Bays in the second term, even though Davis-Neale kicked their first goal early.
Earl for Langhorne Creek was doing well and kicked two for the quarter.
Howell and McLeod were creating havoc and Dominish was running unchecked.
They piled on five goals while the Bays were a rabble. Half time scores were Langhorne Creek 9.4 to Encounter Bay 1.5.
Some harsh words from the coach and a lot of soul searching saw the Bays start to claw their way back into the game in the second half against the breeze.
Karpany, Barnes and Davis-Neale combined for three goals, while the Hawks through Howell and Kellock replied.
The Bays had the best of the quarter, but hit the post a couple of times and were still eight goals down at the last change. It appeared an impossible task for the Bays despite having the aid of a freshening breeze, but they gave it a good crack.
They dominated the term starting with Callum Tonkin in ruck. Davis-Neale showed his class and team-mates looked for him. Karpany and Hooper lifted up forward as well and Barnes kept firing the ball in.
The Hawks Lally received a 50m penalty and kicked their only goal. Bays continued their charge, but time was their enemy. They fell short by two goals, but salvaged what early on looked like an embarrassment.
Final scores were Langhorne Creek 13.10 to Encounter Bay 11.10.
Langhorne Creek in the first half showed why they are top, but need to play four quarters of this type of footy in the finals.
Earl was lively even though he only kicked one goal. Kellock was again a strength and McLeod was really impressive with his strong marking. Dominish was the best small man on the ground, while Derham, Clifford and Perrey were winners for half a game.
Bays must learn to start well and maintain the pressure if they are to make the finals. Their best is good and their worst is awful. Tyson Davis-Neale is the key and with four goals, did his job.
Callum Tonkin in ruck, again was strong, while brother Hamish had his moments in the backlines. Kleinig was pacy on the wing, as was Gould. Sweetman, Karpany and Barnes were others to do well.