The Bull Sharks senior men were beaten but far from discouraged after Saturday’s 20-point loss to ladder leaders the Burleigh Bombers at The Canal.
Before the round 7 match-up the Bull Sharks were sitting close behind Burleigh in second spot.
The 62-42 defeat saw them drop to third place on the ladder.
How it unfolded
The Bull Sharks started the game strongly and had the upper hand over the Bombers as they went into the first huddle with a two-goal lead.
Burleigh hit their stride after the break and with the home side failing to convert their opportunities into scoreboard pressure, were able to claw back the deficit and turn it into a lead.
Bond managed just two points in the second and third quarters and went into the final change trailing by 26 points.
The margin proved to be too great for the Bull Sharks but they will take some confidence knowing they outscored the Bombers in the final quarter.
Despite the defeat, head coach Luke Mansbridge commended his team’s resilience and expressed confidence in the Bull Sharks’ potential.
“We have a really strong side at the moment and we’re not that far off from beating Burleigh,” Mansbridge said.
“We just need to keep improving and working hard.”
Grant Trew played his first senior game of the season and was a standout performer in the backline alongside Will King.
Wyatt Bacon also played an excellent game across half back while Oliver Burrows-Cheng and Axel Moore in the midfield were also strong contributors.
What they said
Reflecting on the game, Mansbridge acknowledged the quality of Burleigh’s play and praised the Bull Sharks for their performance in the contest, particularly in their first quarter.
“Burleigh are a very good team, well coached and well structured,” he said.
“We contested strongly in the beginning but during the second half they got to us a bit.
“Nevertheless, the boys didn’t give up and I’m still really proud of their efforts.”
Mansbridge acknowledged the Bull Sharks were often second to the ball and weren’t as clean with their handling as the Bombers and emphasised the importance of taking the first option and playing with confidence.
“Focus areas for us now will definitely be to absorb pressure, move the ball quicker and work on trusting each other.
“We’ve probably been playing a bit safe, so from a coaching point of view we just want to keep encouraging them to take the game on.”
In other games
The men’s reserves took an excellent win in their game against Burleigh.
It was a nail-biting game as the Bull Sharks remained no more than a few points behind Burleigh for the first three quarters.
It wasn’t until the final quarter of the match when Bond caught their break to win the game 60-56.