Killarney Vale are looking to make it to the 2020 big dance after falling just short last year.

Four matches into the Black Diamond Cup’s 2020 season, and the Bombers are still flying high. Not just in the results, mind you; the whole Killarney Vale outfit are “loving being out on the park” after such a long preseason too, and it shows.

In the opening round, which started nearly three months later than planned, the Bombers felled Warners Bay 112–14. A week later, they edged the Hawks in a 110-point battle at Pasterfield Sporting Complex. Then they downed the Magpies by 83.

This week, Killarney Vale faced another tough battle. Terrigal Avoca has been building year on year in the south, and Bombers coach Peter Kelleher knew they’d be a “banana peel” in the fourth-round contest at Adelaide Street Oval.

“They’re a good side Terrigal, very hard at the footy and they play a very sophisticated style of AFL each and every week as well,” the Bombers helmsman told the Chronicle.

“The Panthers are certainly hard at the footy!” he added again with a laugh.

“No malice, of course, they’re well-coached and play well. Very gritty. They’re the emerging up and comers for sure, I think. Anything out of Terrigal is a quality unit. The ladies there have proved that right again, and I’m sure they’re only getting better.”

The Bombers navigated the hard-hitting Panthers over the weekend to stay in equal first.

It was Kristen Kessler that took the game by the scruff in front of goals. For the second time in two weeks, Killarney Vale’s number 13 slotted home four majors, and guided the league leaders 8.13–61 to 2.1–13. Jocelyn Kelleher also shone in the clash.

The win makes it four on the trot for the Bombers since their defeat at the hands of City at the end of last season. That’s the game that’s still in the back of the team’s mind, Kelleher said. It’s the one that’s driving them towards perfection.

“All the girls have a fire in their belly from getting tumbled out in the preliminary final last year,” he stated. “It’s driven us, it’s always in the back of their minds. That said, we’re not letting that control us, of course. It’s just a bonus.”

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On top of their partial quest for revenge, there’s another thing driving the Bombers to their clinical victories: they want to “make every moment count.” The Central Coast lineup “love playing footy,” their coach said, and it was heartbreaking when the start was delayed. It could be cancelled at any moment too, and they know it.

“We could easily be put on hold again as soon as next week. We’re taking every game as it comes,” Kelleher said. “The whole team is just enjoying their footy, and we all love winning. We want to get to the end, but we’re playing game by game.”

Killarney Vale are just “loving their footy” on the road to a potential grand final berth.

Also in the Black Diamond Cup Women’s fourth round, Cardiff disposed of Maitland 85–nil on the road to climb into third place in the league. The Hawks leapfrogged Terrigal Avoca, who remain in fourth ahead of the Magpies.

Wyong Lakes earned their fourth-place spot with a 5.5–35 to 0.3–3 win against Warners Bay at Northlakes Oval. The Bulldogs have yet to chalk a win this year in three attempts.

Finally, defending champs Newcastle City retained their spot at the top of the AFL Hunter Central Coast first grade standings with a victory against the combined Nelson Bay/Port Stephens outfit at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday afternoon.

STANDINGS: Newcastle City, Killarney Vale (16), Cardiff (12), Terrigal Avoca, Wyong Lakes (8), Warners Bay, Maitland, Nelson Bay/Port Stephens (0).