WESTERN Storm again showed it will be a force to be reckoned with come finals time with a strong performance to beat Glenorchy by 23 points in their State League clash at Aurora Stadium yesterday.
The Storm made it three wins in a row and consolidated second spot on the ladder after beating the Magpies 18.12 (120) to 14.13 (97).
In a strange game of momentum swings, the Storm was good enough to maintain control when threatened but was unable to put Glenorchy to the sword when the opportunities were there.
The Storm was the better team in the first half dominating play and kicking nine goals to four to lead by 32 points at half-time.
The game was played mainly in its forward half and it had plenty of ball-winners, moving the ball well by foot, hitting targets and applying good tackling pressure on Glenorchy.
The Magpies lifted their intensity and were more composed in the third quarter, using the ball better and booting four quick goals in succession, including two from coach Aaron Cornelius who was held goalless in the opening half by Will Hanson.
Glenorchy levelled the scores and threatened to overrun the Storm - but the momentum swung back as it responded and banged on three goals straight of its own, including two to bigman Bart McCulloch, to stem the flow and extend the lead to 18 points at the last change.
Cornelius booted his third 50 seconds into the final quarter to cut the deficit to 12 points but the Storm then hit the after-burners and blasted five in a row to blow the margin out to 49 points at the 18-minute mark.
Just as it seemed the contest was over Glenorchy booted the last four goals of the game to reduce the final margin to 23 points.
McCulloch finished with four goals for the Storm, Shaun Collis three and Jade Child, Alex Russell, Mitch Hills and Matt Hanson all kicked two each.
Hanson was outstanding with his work rate and grunt around the contests in a best on ground performance picking up 36 possessions, with McCulloch, Hills, Collis and Child all playing well for the Storm.
Cornelius showed his class booting five goals in the second half for Glenorchy with Brayden Webb, Jaye Bowden and Rhys Mott good for the Magpies.
``I was a bit disappointed because a couple of times during the game we put them in a spot where we could have blown them away big time but our pressure dropped off dramatically twice during the game and let them back into it,'' Storm coach Mitch Hills said.
``A strange game but happy to get the win in the end - we talked about being able to use the footy in our half and lowering our eyes and hitting targets.
``I thought our key forwards were pretty good and our small forwards made good positions and we were able to put the score on the board - week by week things are improving and that's all I can ask.''
Cornelius said the Magpies lacked the Storm's height and had let it dictate the game.
``Then we played 25 minutes of good football in the third quarter and matched them and pegged them back only to let them kick a couple of goals in the last five minutes to get on top us which was demoralising,'' he said.
``Our best footy can match anybody around but we're a young group and inconsistency is going to be part of it this season.''