A LATE goal to Lucas Matthews clinched Mitiamo a five-point win over Inglewood in a round five Loddon Valley league thriller on Saturday.
In a game where momentum ebbed and flowed throughout, Mitiamo prevailed 15.11 (101) to 15.6 (96) in a cracking contest at Inglewood.
The Superoos had trailed by 11 points at three quarter-time, but with the aid of the breeze kicked four goals to two in the final term - including the match-winner by Matthews - to get over the line and improve to 4-1.
"We're obviously very happy to get the win in what was a really hard-fought game," Mitiamo coach Marcus McKern said.
"I thought Inglewood's on-ballers beat us at the stoppages for most of the day, but we were able to fight it out well to get the win."
I thought Inglewood's on-ballers beat us at the stoppages for most of the day, but we were able to fight it out well to get the win- Marcus McKern - Mitiamo coach
Among the best for the Superoos was midfielder Lee Dale, who was a late inclusion after Mitiamo lost onballer Doug Thomas, Ryan Wellington and Nathan Twigg as late withdrawals.
Fellow on-baller Carl Nicholson (three goals) was also prominent for the Superoos, while Matthews and key forward Jay Reynolds kicked four goals each.
The Superoos' side included teenager Mason Hocking, who had a busy day playing in the East Loddon under-18s and Mitiamo reserves before lining up in the seniors as well.
Although beaten, the five-point deficit was another sign of the major steps forward being taken by the vastly-improved Blues this year given in their previous meeting just over 12 months ago Mitiamo's winning margin was 166 points.
"We were in front with a minute-and-a-half to go, but didn't get the four points, which is disappointing... but I couldn't be prouder of the way the boys played today against one of the better sides in the competition," Inglewood coach Darrell Billett said.
"We were three goals down at half-time and then came out and kicked six goals to one in the third quarter, which shows that we're thereabouts, we've just got to keep working hard to improve."
Hard-at-it midfielder Bregon Cotchett continued his stellar start to the season to be named best for the Blues, while Charlie McGaw kicked four goals.
Calivil United has its first win of the season after winning a grinding contest against Bridgewater.
In a game where just 14 goals were kicked, the visiting Demons pulled away from the Mean Machine in the last quarter to win by 16 points, 8.11 (59) to 6.7 (43).
"It was a great effort by the boys; we had the breeze in the last quarter and were able to use it to break away at the end," Demons coach Jack Daley said.
"The boys were really desperate today. Our pressure and want was fantastic and after a couple of close losses already (against Mitiamo and Bears Lagoon-Serpentine) the boys didn't want to go through that again and that's what helped drive us to win.
"We had a really even spread today of contributors and just a good team effort."
Assistant coach Jacob Greenwood kicked three goals for the Demons, whose best was Phil Ryan across half-back.
Although it was by less than a goal each time, Bridgewater had narrowly led at each of the first three breaks - by five points at quarter-time, four at half-time and two at three quarter-time.
Recruit Emile Pavlich was the best for the Mean Machine, who had Andrew Collins and Josh Martyn kick two goals each.
A 10-goal haul to forward Bailey George highlighted Pyramid Hill's 179-point hammering of Maiden Gully YCW at home.
The percentage-booster elevated the Bulldogs to the top of the ladder as they won 31.9 (195) to 2.4 (16) in the most one-sided game of the season so far.
The undefeated Bulldogs had 12 goals on the board at half-time and added 19 after the break, with their conversion a feature given they booted 31 goals from 40 scoring shots.
"We moved the footy quite well today and Bailey George gave us a really good target up forward to kick 10," Pyramid Hill coach Nathan Fitzpatrick said.
"We got the ball quickly into our forwards and they had plenty of space to work in."
George relished the opportunity to take on extra forward responsibility in the absence of Braidy Dickens, who was sidelined.
George was among 12 goalkickers for the Bulldogs, seven of whom slotted majors, including Seb Relouw (two), who was named best.
"Seb was really good for us today. He's just a hard-nut, loves tackling and the hard ball and was really good playing midfield and half-forward," Fitzpatrick said.
In what was another tough day for the 0-4 Eagles, coach Wayne Mitrovic was still able to find positives out of the club's biggest loss since it joined the LVFNL as YCW in 1985.
"I challenged our players to lay 20 tackles a quarter and we ended up with 84 for the day, so we achieved that, which showed the effort was there, it's just our skills letting us down," Mitrovic said.
"It has obviously been hard going this year, but we've been rapt with how Mitch Dean is going. He struggled to get into the senior team last year, but he'd be winning our best and fairest easily this year and has a great work-rate playing midfield and half-forward."
For the second season in a row Newbridge had no answer for Marong power forward Brandyn Grenfell.
Grenfell bagged 11 goals as the Panthers crushed the Maroons 30.13 (193) to 5.6 (36) in what was a ruthless response to their first loss of the season to Pyramid Hill a week earlier.
"It was all about responding from last week when we didn't play our best footy... I thought we rectified that today and was really impressed with our skill level," Marong coach Linton Jacobs said.
"Our use of the ball was a lot better today and overall, I was really happy with the way we played."
Best-on-ground Grenfell's 11-goal bag came after he booted 12 against the Maroons when they met in round nine, last year.
Grenfell now has 30 goals for the season, almost double that of the competition's next best goalkicker, Pyramid Hill's George (16).
Dylan Lloyd was best for the outplayed Maroons, who were already 49 points down by quarter-time.
Pyramid Hill 4.2 12.7 21.9 31.9 (195)
MGYCW 0.0 1.0 1.1 2.4 (16)
GOALS: Pyramid Hill: B.George 10, B.Micevski 3, S.Relouw 3, E.Caburnay 3, S.Gunther 3, N.Catherwood 2, B.Morison 2, W.Perryman 1, B.Ladson 1, J.Hickmott 1, J.Woodward 1, B.Driscoll 1; MGYCW: J.Dwyer 1
BEST: Pyramid Hill: S.Relouw, B.George, N.Catherwood, B.Micevski, B.Morison, R.Dickens; MGYCW: M.Dean, C.Angove, J.Dwyer, H.McCartney, N.Murley, E.Crisp
Marong 8.1 13.5 23.8 30.13 (193)
Newbridge 0.0 1.4 3.4 5.4 (36)
GOALS: Marong: B.Grenfell 11, K.Manley 4, N.Devanny 3, C.Jacobs 3, C.Gregg 2, R.Tibbett 1, A.Ward 1, J.Gadsden 1, N.Walsh 1; Newbridge: H.Whittle 2, C.Dixon 1, C.Sanders 1, M.Hocking 1
BEST: Marong: B.Grenfell, R.Taylor, J.Gadsden, K.Manley, J.McCaig, J.Hynes; Newbridge: D.Lloyd, C.Sanders, H.Whittle, L.Dixon, M.Hocking, R.Burt
Mitiamo 4.1 10.4 11.7 15.11 (101)
Inglewood 4.2 7.4 13.6 15.6 (96)
GOALS: Mitiamo: J.reynolds 4, L.Matthews 4, C.Nicholson 3, L.Dale 1, R.Turner 1, T.Grant 1, L.Lougoon 1; Inglewood: C.McGaw 4, R.Johnson 2, C.Wright 2, K.Simpson 1, J.Woods 1, T.Rodwell 1, B.Cotchett 1, M.Rowe 1, T.Kendal 1, C.Ingham 1
BEST: Mitiamo: C.Nicholson, L.Dale, R.Turner, D.Mowat, J.Wiegard, W.Draper; Inglewood: B.Cotchett, C.Ingham, N.Angelino, C.McGaw, C.Wright, C.Stobaus
Calivil United 1.2 4.6 5.9 8.11 (59)
Bridgewater 2.1 5.4 6.5 6.7 (43)
GOALS: Calivil United: J.Greenwood 3, M.Maxey 2, J.Burns 2, A.Daniels 1; Bridgewater: A.Collins 2, J.Martyn 2, L.Needs 1, M.Brooks 1
BEST: Calivil United: P.Ryan, J.Burns, J.Daley, E.Ritchie, C.Pearse, O.Murphy; Bridgewater: E.Pavlich, C.Prest, L.Allison, J.Ellings, J.Symons, J.Naughton
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