By JESS WEBSTER
It wasn’t pretty, but Canberra emerged victors by four points in a scrappy contest against Redland at Scottsdale Park on Saturday.
The Bombers got out to a 24-point lead midway in the second term before the Demons reeled them in despite woeful accuracy to win 7.22 (64) to 9.6 (60).
The competition’s leading goalkicker, Matt Hammelmann, got the home side off to the perfect start for the games’ opening major in between four consecutive behinds to the Demons.
It took until the 24-minute mark for Andrew Swan to find the major opening as the Demons trailed by a solitary point at the quarter-time.
Redland began to take control in the second after Canberra started the quarter with another four consecutive behinds, booting 4.4 to 1.6 for a 17-point lead at the main break.
It was after half-time that Canberra began to make their move, with consecutive goals to Lucas Meline and Tom Faul cutting the margin to five points after seven minutes.
Aaron Christensen gave the home side some breathing space when he marked and wheeled around from 50m for one of the few highlights of the match, but two more consecutive goals to the Demons in time-on saw them hit the front for the first time in the match.
Jack Rolls restored the lead for Redland when he snapped his second goal from 15m out, before Canberra again wasted several more opportunities to put the result beyond doubt.
They kicked five consecutive behinds to hit the front by three points, and it took a contested mark and goal from captain Aaron Bruce deep inside 50 to break the drought, edging the Demons nine points clear at the 24-minute mark.
The Bombers had a sniff when Jackson paine converted a great goal on the run from 50m near the boundary, but the Demons did enough to hold them at arm’s length in the dying minutes.
Alex Smout, in his comeback game from suspension, amassed 34 disposals, six clearances and 11 inside 50s, while Rising Star nominee Angus Baker was also prominent with 24 disposals and 11 marks.
Tom Salter led the disposals with 27 for Redland and Luke O’Sullivan was among their better players with 20 disposals and 10 marks.
The victory keeps Canberra in equal fourth place amongst four clubs level on 16 points, while Redland are stuck at the bottom of the ladder.
Canberra hosts Brisbane at UNSW Canberra Oval next week. The task doesn’t get any easier for Redland, which hosts Sydney at Coorparoo on Saturday.
Redland Bombers v Canberra Demons at Scottsdale Park
CANBERRA 1.6 2.12 6.16 7.22 (64) REDLAND 2.1 6.5 7.6 9.6 (60)
GOALS – Canberra: A Bruce 2 A Swan 2 T Faul B Fulford L Meline. Redland: A Christensen 3 J Rolls 2 K Baker J Paine M Hammelmann S Copland.
BEST – Canberra: A Baker J Powell A Swan K Klemke C Milne A Paech. Redland: K Walsh L O’Sullivan S Miller T Salter J Lyons A Christensen.