Clocks cleaned and Blue steamed

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

HAMILTON -- It didn't cost them the game, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were hopping mad at the conclusion of last night's 41-39 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Bombers allege that the Ivor Wynne Stadium timekeeper allowed five seconds to come off the clock in the last 15 seconds of the game as they were trying to mount a game-winning drive.

"The clock running for five seconds -- three on one play and two on another -- did not cost us the game," Bombers head coach Jim Daley said. "It cost us a play.

"What cost us the game was our own play early."

Adding insult to injury was the officials' decision to reverse a 20-yard completion originally given to Gilles Colon that would have put the Bombers at midfield with six seconds left.

Bombers slotback Milt Stegall agreed that the perceived errors didn't cost them the game, and he was actually complimentary of the officials -- wink, wink.

"If they don't give them a raise, I'll give them half of my cheque," Stegall said.

SITTING PRETTY: Hamilton quarterback Danny McManus sat in the pocket all night long and completed pass after pass.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown missed the first game of his career last night due to a sore foot.

"We'd been giving up a lot of yards all year," Daley said. "This is not new, so I can't say how much it was Doug Brown and how much of it was something else.

"We made a few mistakes, and it cost us."

OFFENSIVE SURGE: Despite what Stegall thinks, the Bomber offence is playing some great football these days.

"Our offence right now is clicking," Daley said. "Kevin Glenn, Milt Stegall, Chris Brazzell, Gilles Colon, Jamie Stoddard, Darnell McDonald, Charlie Roberts ... they're all doing a great job."

And that gives them hope, according to the head coach.

"This is an offensive league," Daley said. "You have to be able to move the ball to score.

"We have to play a lot better on defence. Period."

LATE HITS: Stegall led the Bombers with four catches for 144 yards, while Chris Brazzell, in his return to Hamilton, had five grabs for 135 yards ... Charles Roberts had his first pass completion -- a 35-yarder to Brazzell -- on an option play in the first half ... D.J. Flick led the Tiger-Cats with four catches for 142 yards ... Bombers PK Troy Westwood had two 19-yard field goals and a 29-yarder, but he missed from 46, which resulted in a single, and from 49. Hamilton's Jamie Boreham had 14- and 27-yard field goals, as well as the hit of the night when he levelled Gilles Colon on a kickoff return ... Bombers OL Matt Sheridan hurt his knee in the second quarter and didn't return. Dan Gyetvai took his spot.


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