After being forced to wait close to three years between victories in the Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League, Millicent did not even need to wait another week before tasting success again.
In what turned out to be the closest encounter of round 3, the Saints overcame a fast-finishing West Gambier by 13 points at Malseed Park on Saturday.
Still enjoying the high of their first win since the 2018 WBFL grand final, Millicent forced the home side onto the back foot straight away by kicking three goals in the first 10 minutes.
It only took a matter of seconds for Gene Robinson to find the big sticks, which was an ominous sign of things to come for the home team. The Roos hardly had a chance to blink and could only manage three points on the scoreboard before the quarter time siren sounded.
When the drizzle arrived in the second term, so did the home side which used its foot skills to convert on the Saints’ mistakes and make the game interesting.
The actions of Tom Holmes and Ethan Giddings around the ground inspired the hosts and after Josh Schapel snapped around the corner, suddenly it was just a one-point ball game.
However, after many attempts moving the ball down the far wing, Robinson’s chest was finally found and he slotted a set shot to push Millicent’s lead back to double figures on the cusp of half time.
The main break did little to stop Robinson’s momentum as the key forward went on a scoring spree in the third quarter. He presented perfect leads and kicked five goals off his own boot, while West struggled to contain Millicent’s defence.
Youngsters Frazer Bradley with his aerobic intercept marks and Billy Shanks’ desperate efforts kept the Roos’ goalless, while the Saints marched to a 38-point lead.
The visitors’ display appeared destined to roll on towards the final siren when Robinson brought up his second consecutive 10-goal haul with a banana from the boundary line.
But there was one more twist in the script as the home side made one desperate rescue attempt after coach Steven Wenman said it was “go time” at the final break. Late goals to Schapel and Jordan
Williams brought the deficit down to 13 points, but just in time Millicent shutdown West’s domination and killed the clock.
The Roos were forced to lament on missed chances going down despite producing two more scoring shots, while Tom Renzi was the only Saint other than Robinson to score a goal in the five minute mark of the first term.
Despite the late scare, Millicent coach Clint Gallio was happy just to get another win on the board. “The scoreboard did not reflect the game I suppose, but credit to West for coming back hard late in the game,” he said.
“We played some really good footy late in the first half and switched on giving our forwards opportunities which held us in good stead. “It was not a full four-quarter performance, but it was pleasing not to wait as long for the next win.”
With two wins under their belt, the Saints hope to take their strong form back home when they host North Gambier for a battle under lights on Saturday night.
The Roos are still hunting their opening win of the season, but could have their best chance yet against an equally-struggling Casterton Sandford at home.