MARYBOROUGH caused one of the upsets of the BFNL season when it defeated Golden Square by 13 points on Saturday.
It was the Magpies first win over Golden Square since 2004 and the result put the Bulldogs’ finals berth in jeopardy.
The Magpies celebrated the 17.11 (113) to 15.10 (100) victory like they’d won a final.
“That’s the best win I’ve been involved with,’’ Maryborough star Tyson MacIlwain, who had never played in a winning side against Golden Square, said after the game.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
The Magpies’ win came seven days after they suffered a 141-point loss to the Strathfieldsaye Storm.
“Last week was embarrassing,’’ MacIlwain said.
“The boys put in a big week on the training track and there was a big influence on physical pressure around the footy.
“Judging by the win I think we achieved that.”
The Magpies wanted it more than their higher-rated opponents.
While Jack Daley and Simon Rosa were the only four-quarter performers for the Bulldogs, the Magpies had solid contributions across the board.
MacIlwain was outstanding at centre half-forward and in the ruck, while Jayden Hooper did a great job of limiting the influence of Square star Corey Jones.
16-year-old Coby Perry set the Magpies alight with four first-half goals and forced Golden Square coach Nick Carter to move Clayton Anderson from the forward line back to defence.
Lachlan Edwards, Billy Mahony, Luke Bucknall, Evan Hurse and ruckman Ryan Connellan impressed through the middle for the Magpies.
“I wouldn’t have liked to pick the best six today,’’ MacIlwain said.
“We didn’t have one player who play badly today and that’s the hallmark of a good side.
“We’ve got young bloke likes Coby Perry and Billy Mahony, who aren’t old enough to drive yet, leading the way for us.
“I couldn’t speak more highly of Coby, he’s a great kid. As for Billy, I haven’t seen a player as clean below the knees as him.”
Six months ago the Magpies were battling to field a senior side.
Now they’ve defeated the reigning premier and sit in seventh place on the ladder.
“As a young side you can’t be up all the time, but wins like today do make you wonder why we can’t do it more consistently,’’ MacIlwain said.
“We should have beaten Eaglehawk at Eaglehawk and we let the Castlemaine game slip.
“You add those two wins to our record and we’re back in the mix.
“A win like today will really galvanise the group. The reception we got from the crowd when we walked off the ground was fantastic. I haven’t heard noise like that around this club for a long time.”
While Maryborough celebrated one of its best wins in modern times, Golden Square’s hopes of a sixth-straight BFNL premiership are in tatters.
The Bulldogs are now locked in a three-way battle with Kangaroo Flat and Eaglehawk for fourth and fifth spots.
“We were beaten by the hardness of the opposition,’’ Golden Square coach Nick Carter said.
“That’s the hardness that wins finals football and to Maryborough’s credit they dished it up.”
Shoulder injuries to star duo Jon Coe and Hamish Morcom rubbed salt into the Bulldogs’ wounds.
“We’ll know more on Monday, but at this stage we’ve been told they both have three to four week injuries,’’ Carter said.
“I wouldn’t have thought we’d have Jon or Hamish for the rest of the home and away season.
"It's disappointing because they were probably in our best four players as far as form is concerned.
"It's a big blow and others are going to have to step up, but we can't worry about that now, we have to worry about Eaglehawk this week."
Golden Square star Rick Ladson remains at least two weeks away from returning from his knee injury.