The Dubbo Demons had a stunning first quarter performance to thank after holding off the Bathurst Giants in Central West AFL on Saturday.
The Demons flew out of the blocks at King George No. 1 but the Giants roared back only for the visitors to hold on and win 15.16.106 to 13.6.84.
While delighted to see his side make it two-from-two early in the season and maintain top spot on the ladder, Dubbo coach Will Bunt was still disappointed in the Demons’ inability to be consistent across four quarters.
“We did win, it was ugly, but it was still a win,” he said.
“Last week I said we were only at 70 percent and on Saturday I’d say we were only at 60 percent so there’s lots of room to improve.
“Our goal kicking, our ball rotation, forward structure and controlling the pace of the game. That was something which let us down.
“The Giants took control in the second and third quarters and we were following when we wanted to be setting the tempo.”
Giants coach Mark Kennedy stated before the match the Dubbo side “never travelled well historically” but you wouldn’t have known it on Saturday when the Demons booted 6.9.45 to the Giants’ 1.2.8.
Bunt confessed the wind around the ground helped his side early but the Demons still had to make the most of the conditions and did so through clinical ball movement.
But the change of ends, combined with the Giants lifting, the loss of key forward Terry Lyons through concussion and a strong marking job on fellow target Bailey Delaney meant the huge lead was slowly eaten in to.
Dubbo only led by three goals heading into the final term but kicked away again with a more improved showing to win by 21 points.
“When you look at the behinds we kicked 16 so that’s disappointing,” Bunt said.
“That’s 37 in two games and in the bigger games that can cost you.
“We started off really well but in the second and third quarters we didn’t do too well. The fourth quarter was better again but we weren’t consistent enough and you can’t afford that.”
Delaney, Kim Woodman and Khyle Borwick each kicked three goals in the victory while Michael James booted a pair of majors.
Bathurst Giants’ Kennedy was obviously disappointed in his side’s start but remained upbeat about the way his young side fought back.
“We were looking at the stats after the game and it was, well we were 40 points down at the end of the first quarter and we lost by 20 points,” he said.
“So you take that first quarter out, we won by 20 points.”