ANALYSIS: How Bay Power struggles to fire in the Bay derby
AUSSIE RULES: Bay Power's inability to start well against Hervey Bay Bombers has nothing to do with the Torquay club's historic dominance, according to Power coach Michael Gay.
A red-hot Bombers led from start to finish in the third Battle of the Bay, eventually running out comfortable 27-point victors.
Gay and his coaching staff were left to again rue what could have been as the AFL Wide Bay leaders succumbed to its second loss to the Bombers this year and third overall.
An analysis of Bay derby results from the past three seasons has shown how the Power's attack has struggled to fire in the opening quarter.
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The Power have kicked an average of 2.09 goals and 2.72 behinds in the opening quarter of 11 Bay derbies from the start of the 2016 season to Saturday's Norm Mclean Oval clash. The Bombers averaged 3.45 majors and 3.18 points in the same time.
The past four games, stretching back to last year's elimination final, have been remarkably similar.
Bay Power has kicked just two goals in each of the opening terms, while the Bombers have sent five through the big sticks each time.
Hervey Bay has won seven of the past 11 Bay derbies, which includes three of the past four.
The Power has overcome a first term deficit just twice in 11 games: the Anzac Day game this year and the preliminary final in 2016,
Gay and Darren Hunter were the Power's and Bombers' respective coaches that season.
In that year, the Bombers won all three regular season games between the two and led the preliminary final by 30 points at half-time before the Power surged to victory.
In 2017, the Power won two games to one in the regular season before the then Tony Potter-coached Bombers turned a 21-point first term lead into a 33-point elimination final win to end the Power's season.
Gay doesn't put any value in the so-called "little brother" status of the Power, who have yet to win an AFL Wide Bay premiership.
The Bombers have won 22 premierships in 41 years, four of those as the Seahawks pre-1985.
"I think it's a non-issue," he said.
"This is a completely different group, the kids are a lot older. There's only one or two of the old Bay Power still playing so I don't think that's an issue."
The Power remain top of the AFL Wide Bay table with the Bombers just four points behind but with a superior points differential. They could meet twice more this year should both reach the grand final.
On that day, supporters from both clubs can focus on the only important thing: winning the game that matters.
The Power face Bulldogs this week while the Bombers face The Waves.