THE Bendigo Gold ended their three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 32-point victory over Collingwood at Victoria Park.
The game was in the balance at three quarter-time, with the Gold leading by just four points.
However, Bendigo finished the game full of running, kicking 5.2 to 0.4 in the last term to win 13.15 (93) to 8.13 (61).
The much-needed victory followed consecutive losses to Sandringham (38 points), Geelong (86) and Northern (100).
“We needed to get a win, and with Collingwood beating Port Melbourne last week we knew we’d be up against it today,” Gold coach Hayden Skipworth said.
“It was a really competitive game that took until the last quarter for us to break it open.
“There was no more than a couple of goals in it for the first three quarters, but in the last quarter everything seemed to click really well.
“We moved the ball well from our backline to create some good scoring opportunities.
“I thought our contested footy was really good today and we won the tackle count, which was really significant as well.
“We got back to playing that hard footy that we went away from over those past few weeks and it showed on the scoreboard, especially late in the game.”
During their three losses in a row, the Gold had been slow out of the blocks in the first quarter and forced to play catch-up footy.
But on Saturday the Gold hit the ground running as they led by 14 points at quarter-time against a Magpies side that would have been full of confidence after ending Port Melbourne’s 28-game winning streak the previous week.
Among the best players for the Gold were midfielders Kyle Reimers, who got better as the game wore on, and the pacy Travis Colyer.
Rick Ladson, who was one of the few shining lights during the Gold’s recent bad patch of form, Henry Slattery, who played a mix of defence and on-ball, and back pocket Mark Baguley were also among the standouts.
Dean Putt competed well in the ruck against a Collingwood side that included four players over 200cms in Jarrod Witts (208cms), Cameron Wood (204), Jonathon Ceglar (204) and Seamus McNamara (204).
Justin Maddern kicked four goals, while Essendon’s first-round draft selection last year, Elliott Kavanagh, impressed with three goals playing wing and midfield.
“To be honest, it was a really good team effort today and there weren’t too many passengers,” Skipworth said.
Having had the bye last week, the Gold has another bye this weekend for the state game between the VFL and Tasmania.
When their season resumes the Gold will take on Williamstown at Windy Hill on June 2 in what will be their first televised game on ABC for the season.