Before the sixth round of the 2022 Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League, West Gambier had endured the longest spell between wins, but that is over after a special performance at Island Park on Saturday.
The Roos had not won since a special round 2 triumph over North Gambier and were able to sing the victory song again after another incredible come-from-behind effort against Casterton Sandford.
It appeared to be another tough afternoon in the office for Daron McElroy’s men as the Cats took charge in the first term.
Although Michael Minuzzo scored the first major from point-blank range, smooth set shots from Ricky Killey, Adam Mckinnon and Matt Killey kicked the Victorians into gear.
This allowed Casterton Sandford to march into the opening break with all of the momentum leading by 15 points having kicked seven scoring shots to two.
Although the services of coach McElroy were not available on the ground, West returned from quarter time a renewed outfit and changed the game.
Brayden Olds stepped up in the ruck, while Lawrence Bradley-Brown and Jordan Williams put their heads down and pushed the ball forward which created opportunities for Dylan Gillies and company to cut down the Cats’ lead.
By half time the game became a goal-scoring shootout with both teams locked on 5.4 and fans were settling in for another topsy-turvy second half where capitalising on opportunities would prove decisive.
But despite kicking to the northern end where only three of the 10 goals up until that point had been scored, the Roos had the initiative and ran with it to snatch the game.
Bradley-Brown and Williams continued to inspire, winning lots of ball in the middle to dictate terms and open holes in the home side’s backline.
Williams also made a major impact on the scoreboard scoring three goals, including one memorable snap from the pocket to complete his treble, while some of the youngsters also found the big sticks to bring the West supporters to full voice.
Apart from one McKinnon major and an impressive long-kicking play from Ed Pritchard and Billy Galpin, Casterton Sandford had little to cheer about as the home side’s hopes faded fast.
The three-quarter time siren signalled a crushing passage of play where the visitors scored six goals to one to effectively seal the match.
Down by 34 points the starstruck Cats could not mount a late charge of their own with only one true straight kick, while a Dylan Ryan set shot came close, but was denied by the goal umpire.
At the other end of the ground, West continued its procession as Gillies and Aden Pfitzner joined Williams with three big ones.
The 87-50 triumph is a vital one for the Roos, who could have started to languish if they fell to the Cats for a second successive time.
But this win will not only boost morale, it has shot West into fourth from the bottom of the ladder.