NORTH Bendigo scored one of its gutsiest home and away wins in modern times when it defeated Colbinabbin by two points in HDFL action on Saturday.
Kicking against the breeze in the final quarter, the Bulldogs looked gone when they trailed by eight points in time-on.
However, a brilliant solo effort from Jordan Ford and Damien Webb’s third goal of the game lifted the Dogs to a thrilling 11.14 (80) to 12.6 (78) victory.
“I asked the boys for a big effort in the final quarter and they responded,’’ North Bendigo coach Rob Bennett said.
“It was a real character-building win.
“Our first two games we probably went through the motions a little bit… sometimes you need close results like this to go your way to really get the enthusiasm and excitement going.”
Cam Lomas led the way for North Bendigo. The Bulldogs’ veteran shut down Colbo star Patty O’Brien.
Ash Craig, Tyson Findlay, Ford and Shaun Kellow were key contributors for the Dogs.
Lochlan Sirett, David Price, Ricky Welch and the in-form Linton Jacobs were Colbo’s best.
White Hills moved into the top five on the back of a 10-point win over Huntly.
The Demons played their best footy of the season in the first quarter and grabbed a 16-point lead.
The margin was three goals at half-time and the home side looked in control.
However, the Hawks responded strongly in the third term, adding six goals to two to take a four-point lead into the final quarter.
The Hawks still held a slender lead in time-on, but a fine snap from Alex Galea and Ricky Symes’ sixth goal for the match sealed the points for the Demons, 14.9 (93) to 12.11 (83).
“We hadn’t won a first quarter all year before today, so we made a real emphasis to have a good start,’’ White Hills coach Shaun Makepeace said.
“We played some great footy early on and it looked like we were in for a good day.
“To Huntly’s credit they fought back really strongly.
“We haven’t won a third quarter all year and Huntly’s third quarter today was very good.
“We were up against it there for a while, but the boys stuck at it and we got over the line.
“It was an important win for us.”
Gavin Bowles was outstanding for the Demons, while defender Brad Wright and ruckman Matt Lehane continued their good form.
Braidy Dickens and Lachlan O’Toole kicked seven goals between them for Huntly to be the Hawks’ best two players.
The result leaves the Hawks without a win after three rounds and two games adrift of White Hills in fifth place.
Mount Pleasant returned to the winners’ list after defeating Heathcote by 76 points.
Heathcote trailed its higher-rated opponent by just five points at the main break, but the Blues put the foot down in the second half, adding 14 goals to three to win 24.12 (156) to 12.8 (80).
Mount Pleasant full-forward Matt Gretgrix kicked seven goals to take his season tally to 21.
Midfielder Carl Thiesz kicked four goals in a best on ground performance, while livewire Shaun Burchell also bagged four goals.
Kyle Seidel, Darcy McLean, Luke Carroll and Daniel Russell were best for the Saints.
Ladder leader Leitchville-Gunbower outclassed Elmore by 108 points.
Star trio Joel Helman, Justin Williams and Abe Williams had a day out for the Bombers, kicking 13 goals between them.
Jeff McMurtie was once again Elmore’s best player alongside James Harney and Dean Holyman.