There’s something eerie about the rooms of a team that has just been beaten in a grand final.
Unfortunately for the Buninyong faithful, it’s an all too familiar feeling.
For the third time in five years – and the fifth since 2001 – the Bombers have come up short in a Central Highlands Football League senior decider.
A man who has been there for the most recent loses is playing joint-coach Jarrod Morgan.
His disappointment was clear in the minutes after the final siren condemned his boys to a 29-point defeat.
“It’s just about as flat as you can get, especially when we were so confident and I still feel that on a different day we can win that game,” Morgan, into his third year as senior coach of the club, told The Courier.
“They were too good today and that’s the way it is.
“I don’t think we ever really got our game going today, which was a bit of a shame. They put really good pressure on us, we turned it over quite a lot and made some silly decisions.”
Morgan said he felt his side started the game well, even though it trailed narrowly at the first change of ends.
The Bombers kicked three of the first four goals in the match and even led narrowly early in the third quarter.
“We were pretty happy the way we went (up until) quarter time, we just gave away a couple of cheap ones we probably shouldn’t have,” he said.
Morgan also reflected on the late third-quarter rally from the Tigers that helped them establish a match-winning 23-point lead at the final break.
“They just got a couple (of goals) in-a-row,” he said.
“We still, at three quarter time, gave ourselves every chance. Obviously it’s hard in a grand final to come back in the last quarter 20-odd points down, but we thought we were a good show.”
Morgan said co-captain Ned Gilbert was “by far” his team’s best contributor.
“Sammy (Sam Turner) had a pretty good day and even though Macca (Paul McMahon) got best on ground, I thought Jack (Robertson) did a fantastic job. He probably broke even I would have thought. Macca got a couple of goals early and a couple from free kicks,” he said.
“There wasn’t too many standout winners on the ground.”
Buninyong’s defeat means the club is still searching for its first senior flag since 2002, when the team beat Beaufort in the grand final to snap a drought that spanned back to 1970.
In another blow, the previously unbeaten reserves team lost the decider to Springbank by 14 points.
The Bombers did claim a victory, however, with the under-15 side beating Hepburn by 25 points.
That is the club’s seventh title in this division since the league formed in 1979.
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