For the second straight year one point would separate Winchelsea and Werribee, this time the result favoured the home side.
First year Blue Matthew Sprigg would play the hero for the Blues when finding the sealer in the 35th minute of the final term to hand his side a memorable 10.7 (67) to 9.12 (66) win.
“It was a really competitive game from start to finish, we had a good margin at three quarter time but by no means did we think we had the game won,” Winchelsea coach Brendan Forssman said.
“Both teams were really fierce around the ball all day so it wasn’t a great spectacle to look at but it was highly pressurized which was good.”
The Centurions piled on five straight goals in the final term with tall forward Nathan Johnson handing the visitors a late five point lead.
A come from behind victory would have been incredible given the absence of ruckmen Brayden Sneddon and Luke Cachia while key forward Nic Bauld hobbled off early with a groin injury.
However it would be the Blues’ day thanks to Sprigg’s late goal fed from captain Alexander Gubbins.
“They (Werribee) just got some good momentum and then it wasn’t until two thirds into the final quarter that we were able to stem the flow,” Forssman reflected.
“We only had one opportunity so we were very fortunate to get a score from it.”
The Blues will welcome back Joseph Fama (back), Brodie Wilson (ankle), Worland (hamstring) after the bye while reigning best and fairest Jackson Smith remain sidelined (broken wrist).
Simon Seddon put his hand up for Whitley medal contention in Inverleigh’s 45-point win over Thomson.
The first year Hawk recorded a whopping 46 disposals (38 kicks and eight handballs) in an awesome display of wet weather football.
“He (Seddon) was impressive at Hampden FL level and kicked those 10 goals in the QAFL grand final so his past history doesn’t lie,” Inverleigh coach Mark McDowell said.
“He’s got a good spring, he’s a really good mark and a beautiful kick; today he was just sensational and throughout the day he just ticked all the boxes.”
The Hawks would dominate the clearance count in the second term when the visitors strung five straight goals (including an impressive long bomb from returning captain Ryan Garrard).
Michael Best found three late goals deep forward to bring his tally to four while Jak Kennedy Hunt, who rotated in the midfield, finished with three goals and five marks.
“I was really impressed with our performance, Thomson played a pressure brand of football and we took them on again today,” McDowell added.
Former NEAFL star Troy Fenyvesi would again finish with 20 disposals and seven marks in the midfield nevertheless the Tigers’ coaching panel paid credit to their backline.
“Today we weren’t good enough on the back of Inverleigh being better, it was a simple as that,” Thomson co-coach Brent Taylor said.
“Our back six were our best players today not just because the ball was in there so much but also because individually they defended well and had the best use of the footy.”
Corio capitalised on a handful of 50m penalties in the first half of their outing against East Geelong.
However the Devils would be a denied a maiden win for the season as returning Apollo Bay recruit Samuel Lowe guided the Eagles’ to a 56-point win.
Geelong West looked every chance to end a 17-year-old drought against Bell Post Hill this afternoon.
The Giants held a temporary nine point lead at the final break, in search of their first win over the Panthers since Round 2, 2001.
Though it wasn’t to be as the Panthers recorded two remaining goals of the game to secure a four point victory in Will Urquhart’s 250th game.
In other results, Belmont came from behind to secure its first win at home this season over Anakie while Bannockburn proved too classy for North Geelong.
Patrick Knott made a memorable Victoria Park debut when booting nine of the Tigers’ 14 goals.
By Alex Tigani
GDFL Media (12/05/2018)