Third quarter surge pushes Roos past Cats

Athird quarter blitz has pushed West Gambier past Casterton Sandford in a critical moment of their respective Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League campaigns on Saturday.

Both teams are locked in a tense fight for the all-important fourth position on the ladder and little separated them on the scoreboard.

As each rival struggled to find their groove in the slippery conditions early, the game got off to a slow start with the Roos taking a 0.3 to 0.1 lead at quarter time.

Fortunately for the spectators the game livened up in the second term with goals being scored at either end.

After seven minutes of play in the second, the Cats landed the first blow off the boot of Gabe Parsons, while Alistair McCrae immediately doubled up as Adam McKinnon provided some run through the middle.

The Roos did manage to muster a response through Jordan Williams and Michael Minuzzo, but their efforts were not enough to stop the Victorians from carrying a hard-fought two-point lead at the main break.

West Gambier assistant coach Nathan Lewis said a big talk was needed at the main break after a scrappy first half.

“We were not real happy with how we played in the first half,” he said.

“We gave a few of their guys a bit too much rope and the game was up for grabs again because there were a lot of similarities to the last time we played them.”

In the previous encounter the Roos rallied at half time and kicked six goals to one in the third term to seal the result and history repeated on the weekend.

This time West broke the game open booting five majors to one headlined by the efforts of youngster Mitchell Cornolo as the hosts gave it everything to get to the ball first.

The only major the Victorians could muster was a cheeky snap around the corner by Hamish McCrae, but that was not enough to stop the hosts from taking the ascendancy to the finish.

Although the Cats had a sniff until the end, they were not allowed to get close enough with Todd McPartlan and Lewis Lean also playing big roles down back and Kyle Giddings topping off a fine afternoon with a match-sealing goal from outside 50 in the hard-fought 59-41 win.

Lewis said a few small changes at the main break freed up the team to allow them to bounce to glory.

“We put it on the boys to break the game open again and we really got on top,” he said.

“We played the ball in our half in the third quarter and with a weight of numbers inside 50 we ended up with goals.

“We just changed Lawry Bradley-Brown and Jordan Williams on an on ball rotation so one of those were always in the midfield and forward line at each moment and always bringing the ball to ground and our boys worked off them.

“Coach Daron “Roo” McElroy really wanted to tick the first win at home off and the boys stepped up”.

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