The Maclean Bobcats were missing commitment to the ball when they went down to Rovers 3-nil in the major preliminary semi final at Bill Harris Field on Saturday.
All too often the Bobcats let the long ball bounce instead of competing for it in the air and this played into the hands of the bigger Rovers forwards, notably Adam Gray.
Rovers entered the game with steely determination. After all, last time Maclean visited they whooped Rovers 6-2 and the men in black and white werent about to allow them a repeat performance.
In contrast Maclean were without Aaron Swanson and key midfielder Erris Dufficy, so they were always going to be up against it, but when Kevin Crofton succumbed to a groin strain after just five minutes things looked very grim for the visitors.
Adam Gray scored the first and set up the second for Chris Matthews as Maclean lost yet another player, Jeremy Walters, to injury.
Rovers sealed the win when Ben Cassagrande brought down a long pass before crossing for Russell Dent to score. Sadly for Rovers the win came at a cost, with keeper Andrew Marshall sent from the field late in the game for charging into substitute Maclean striker Jack Player.
Rovers will now need to sacrifice either Scott Coster or Tim Sheridan to fill his position, which is a major blow to their chances when they meet Byron Bay in Byron this Sunday at 3pm.
In the sudden death minor preliminary semi Troy Percival gave Lennox Head a dramatic 4-3 win over Italo Stars in the closing moments of the match, nailing a low drive into the corner of the net.
Percivals late winner came after the home team squandered a 3-1 lead when Stars Wayne Mortimer converted from the spot and Matt Weir scored what has been referred to by spectators as the goal of the year.
The Sharks might have ended the game in style but they started it with a home goal. Despite this they quickly recovered with goals to Rameesh Kassim and flanker Adrian Zakaras.
And not even the close score worried Lennox coach Mark Ambler.
The football that we produced left me in no fear that we were always going to win, said Ambler. Even at 3-all.
Lennox will travel to Maclean on Sunday to play the ravaged Bobcats in the minor semi at 3pm.
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