A WEEK after suffering a one-point loss, this time Mount Pleasant was on the right side of a result decided by less than a kick in the Heathcote District league on Saturday.
In front of a huge crowd on a big reunion day for the club, the Blues were staring at a third-consecutive loss when they trailed Colbinabbin by 18 points at three quarter-time at Toolleen.
But a last-quarter surge that included three goals from tall forward Mitch Bennett propelled the Blues to a thrilling two-point victory as they handed Colbinabbin its first loss of the season.
The 13.6 (84) to 12.10 (82) win also ended a lengthy hoodoo for the Blues, who hadn't beaten their arch-rival Grasshoppers since 2014.
Trailing 74-56 at three quarter-time, the Blues finished the game in style, booting 4.4 to 1.2 in the final term, with the match-winning goal slotted by Pat O'Brien from a set-shot.
The two-point victory came a week after the Blues had gone down to North Bendigo by one point.
"We got some momentum in the last quarter and finished off really well," Blues coach Darren Walsh said.
"Mitch Bennett kicked three goals in the last quarter and was instrumental.
"I thought we were a bit flat for three quarters, but we lifted in that last quarter when we had to and the boys responded well.
"Last week's loss was so disappointing because we missed opportunities that we should have taken, so to bounce back today reinforces the belief that we can match it with the good sides."
The Blues' best player was Bailey White.
"Bailey played wing, on-ball and down back and was really good for us," Walsh said.
"His brother Fletcher White also played really well at centre half-back after Travis Baird (leg) had to pull out this morning."
Ben Weightman (four), Bennett (three) and O'Brien (two) combined for nine of the 12 goals for the Blues.
One of the highlight duels of the game was the ruck battle between Mount Pleasant's Chris Down and Colbinabbin's Hadleigh Sirett, with both featuring among the best players.
Colbinabbin kicked half of its 12 goals in the third quarter when the Grasshoppers booted 6.2 to 3.0 to turn a two-point deficit at half-time into the an 18-point advantage at the final change before being over-run.
"It was a game that ebbed and flowed all day and Mounts took their chances in the last quarter," Colbinabbin coach Julian Bull said.
"We were a bit under-sized in our backline and their big guys stood up late, took some good marks and kicked some goals."
Midfielder/forward Jed Brain (three goals) was Colbinabbin's best, while James Brain was the game's leading goalkicker with five as he continues to prove one of the recruits of the season.
For the first time since 2013 Heathcote has won three games in a row and hits the halfway mark of the season in the top five.
The vastly-improved Saints continued their winning form with a 45-point victory over Leitchville-Gunbower, 15.10 (100) to 8.7 (55) at Leitchville.
It's also the first time since 2013 the Saints have kicked triple-figure scores in three-consecutive games having also done so in their previous two wins over White Hills (130) and Elmore (127).
"It was a bit of a grind of a game, but we we got there in the end, which was pleasing," Heathcote coach Andrew Saladino said.
"Coming off a bye and with some key players missing (including Braden Padmore, Shaun Harrison, Brent Jane and Brayden Klemke) it was always going to be a challenging day.
"I put it on our boys at half-time to lift and they did...Jackson Jones got us going in the midfield and Codie Price just did what Codie Price does."
I put it on our boys at half-time to lift and they did...Jackson Jones got us going in the midfield and Codie Price just did what Codie Price does- Andrew Saladino - Heathcote coach
The Saints had been 16 points up at half-time before kicking nine goals to four after the break, continuing their season trait of running games out strongly.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the win for Saladino was the large spread of 13 Heathcote goalkickers.
In their seventh loss in a row, the better players for the Bombers were led by Tom Brereton and consistent ruckman Jobee Warde.
White Hills kicked away from Huntly in the last quarter to win by 44 points.
Having beaten Leitchville-Gunbower last week, the Demons now have back-to-back wins for the first time this season following their 11.8 (74) to 4.6 (30) victory over the Hawks at Strauch Reserve.
Assistant coach Brady Childs and defenders Ben Bacon and Rhys Irwin led the way for the Demons, who had Liam Bartels and Xavier Fiske-Kealy kick two goals each.
Having been still in the contest at three quarter-time, it was a frustrating loss for the Hawks, who have reached the season halfway mark winless.
"There was only a couple of goals in it at three quarter-time, but we fell away in the last," Huntly coach Stacy Fiske said.
"Today has been the story of our season so far... we have been thereabouts, but when it's time to step up and get across the line we just haven't been able to do it.
"The boys continue to crack in and, hopefully, in the second half of the season we can win a few."
The boys continue to crack in and, hopefully, in the second half of the season we can win a few- Stacy Fiske - Huntly coach
Consistent half-back Jay McDonald was the best for the Hawks, while in his return from suspension Tyler Miles played well through the midfield.
Strong first and fourth quarters book-ended Lockington-Bamawm United's 111-point win at home over Elmore.
On the rebound from their first loss since 2019 to Colbinabbin the previous week, the Cats won 24.15 (159) to 7.6 (48).
Despite the one-sided scoreboard, the Cats only narrowly outscored the Bloods by a combined four points during the second and third quarters.
But it was the first and last quarters when the Cats kicked 17.8 to 0.3 that blew the game wide open.
"It was a good response from the boys today. Our first quarter in particular was really dominant with our ball movement and we kicked straight (9.3), which was pleasing," LBU coach Brodie Collins said.
"After getting beaten last week we really wanted to come out today and play well. We still had a lot of players down today, but we all pushed in the one direction to get the result."
After getting beaten last week we really wanted to come out today and play well. We still had a lot of players down today, but we all pushed in the one direction to get the result- Brodie Collins - LBU coach
Forwards Anthony McMahon (five), Ben Fulford (four), Thomas Leech (four) and Rhys Woodland (three) combined for 15 goals for the Cats, whose best was gun ruckman Tyler Phillips.
Coming into the game off two wins in a row, Zack Holmberg led the better players for the Bloods, whose sole multiple goalkicker was Seb De Napoli (two).
White Hills 11.8 (74)
Huntly 4.6 (30)
GOALS: White Hills: X.Fiske kealy 2, L.Bartels 2, H.Richards 1, M.Sawyer 1, B.Childs 1, J.Davies 1, P.Eefting 1, B.Fallon 1, G.Bowles 1; Huntly: S.Fiske 1, L.Gray 1, J.Cordy 1, O.Downing 1
BEST: White Hills: B.Childs, B.Bacon, R.Irwin, B.Fallon, J.Davies, D.Nihill; Huntly: J.McDonald, T.Miles, B.Dimech, M.Billings, T.Ferguson, S.Keneally
Heathcote 4.5 6.7 12.7 15.10 (100)
Leitchville-Gunbower 2.2 4.3 6.3 8.7 (55)
GOALS: Heathcote: J.Jones 2, B.Price 2, A.Mcivor 1, L.Birch 1, H.McCarthy 1, J.Brooks 1, R.Bolton 1, W.Long 1, L.Edwards 1, J.Conforti 1, C.Price 1, M.McLean 1, K.Cavallaro 1; Leitchville Gunbower: B.Hawken 2, J.Regan 2, O.Smartt 1, B.Azzopardi 1
BEST: Heathcote: J.Jones, C.Price, M.McLean, W.Long, R.Bolton, C.Hamilton; Leitchville Gunbower: T.Brereton, J.Warde, B.Hawken, B.Azzopardi, J.Kervin, J.Regan
Lockington Bamawm United 9.3 12.6 16.10 24.15 (159)
Elmore 0.3 3.5 7.6 7.6 (48)
GOALS: Lockington Bamawm United: A.McMahon 5, T.Leech 4, B.Fulford 4, R.Woodland 3, J.Collins 2, T.Phillips 1, J.Mundie 1, L.Atherton 1, S.Brentnall 1, M.Angove 1, B.Anderson 1; Elmore: S.De Napoli 2, T.Cerrone 1, D.Gordon 1, L.Gundry 1, N.Kellow 1, D.Laffy 1
BEST: Lockington Bamawm United: T.Phillips, N.Bacon, A.McMahon, R.McIvor, T.Leech, M.Angove; Elmore: Z.Holmberg, J.Trewick, L.Gundry, R.Williams, B.Sawyer, D.Gordon
Mount Pleasant 3.2 6.2 9.2 13.8 (84)
Colbinabbin 2.4 5.6 11.8 12.10 (82)
GOALS: Mount Pleasant: B. Weightman 4, M. Bennett 3, P. O'Brien 2, R. Mcnamara 1, D. Tydell 1, B. White 1, D. Whiting 1. Colbinabbin: James Brain 5, Jed Brain 3, T. Clarke 2, L. Fitzgerald 1, S. Tuohey 1
BEST: Mount Pleasant: B.White, F.White, C.Down, M.Bennett, B.Weightman, P.O'Brien; Colbinabbin: J.Brain, L.Fitzgerald, L.Ezard, H.Sirett, T.Clarke, J.Brain.
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