Redland fell just short of an inspiring comeback as the GIANTS stood tallto claim a thrilling 10-point victory at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday.
Down by 38 points early in the last, the Bombers twice got within 10 points as they stormed home, but couldn’t get over the line as the GIANTS triumphed 15.11 (101) to 13.13 (91).
The GIANTS were off to a fast start with four goals in 11 minutes – highlighted by a long bomb close to the boundary by Daniel Lloyd – before Redland could score.
But they soon steadied to produce the next three through its star forward duo Matt Hammelmann and Clay Cameron. The pair converted set shots before Hammelmann got boot to ball in the goal square to draw Redland to within seven points approaching quarter-time.
The Bombers were producing the highlights in the second, with Damian Steven banging a goal through from outside 50 and Boyd Bailey snapping a beauty from the pocket midway through the term.
Redland twice got within six points, but each time the GIANTS responded, finishing the term with two goals in two minutes to Jackson Hately and Matthew Flynn to restore an 18-point buffer at the main break.
Most of the third was an arm wrestle the Bombers battled for momentum, and the GIANTS couldn’t find the killer blow.
The two sides went goal-for-goal until it hit time-on, and the GIANTS broke away. Lloyd’s major on the run was followed by a brilliant roving goal from Zac Langdon, who got boot to ball as he was tackled and guided it home along the ground from the pocket.
The Bombers were handed a difficult challenge to come back in the last with the margin out to a game-high 28 points at three-quarter time.
Consecutive behinds from Cameron and Hammelmann to start the last didn’t help their cause, and when Langdon and Bobby Hill booted the next two, the contest looked all but over.
But no one told the Bombers, who mounted a comeback with six of the next eight majors. The GIANTS – fielding just 11 AFL-listed players - did enough to hold them at bay to consolidate their place in the top four.
Lloyd was a workhorse around the contest with 25 disposals, 11 clearances and two goals, with Langdon also performing well with 27 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals.
Clay Cameron (18 disposals, 12 marks, five inside 50s, four goals) was outstanding for the Bombers alongside Damian Steven and Scott Miller, who led the disposals with 23 plus 10 clearances.
Both the GIANTS and Redland have the bye next week before taking on Sydney Uni and Brisbane respectively.
Redland Bombers v GIANTS at Jack Esplen Oval
GIANTS 4.3 7.8 11.10 15.11 (101)
REDLAND 3.1 5.2 7.6 13.13 (91)
GOALS – GIANTS: M Flynn 2 Z Langdon 2 D Lloyd 2 W Mudge
2 I Hill 2 C Idun N Shipley J Hately J Buckley L Delahunty. Redland: C Cameron
4 M Hammelmann 3 H Bertoli-Simmonds 2 B Bailey A Christensen S Mills D Steven.
BEST – GIANTS: Z Langdon D Lloyd J Hately M Flynn J Buckley L Squire. Redland: C Cameron D Steven S Miller C Malone T Salter P Yagmoor
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