Back-to-back wins with last-gasp goal

June 27, 2017

LOCKINGTON-BAMAWM United came up big in the closing moments of its clash with Elmore to pinch a two-point win at the Elmore Recreation Reserve.

A Daniel Zegelin goal in time-on put the Cats into a lead they would find a way to hold on to at the final siren, a second win in as many weeks.

Elmore had taken the lead minutes earlier, but the ability of his side to respond thrilled LBU coach Peter Gibbs.

‘‘It was a very exciting game, and very pleasing,’’ he said.

‘‘Once we’ve been headed in time-on, we’ve tended to drop our heads and go on to lose.

‘‘So to react, and keep attacking was very pleasing. Regardless of the result, we want to see that never say die attitude.’’

Zegelin’s goal might have got the team into the lead, but Gibbs said the defensive effort to tackle Bloods’ danger-man Danny Brewster when in on goal had been just as much a match-winning play.

‘‘You have to take it back to the backline and to that tackle; Danny Brewster would have kicked that goal and won them the game,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s easy to pat the guys on the back for the goals but we wouldn’t be there without that effort.’’

And with consecutive wins and the team learning to win close games, the coach said the mood among the group was fantastic.

‘‘They were absolutely elated — it was a really good, hard-earned win,’’ Gibbs said.

‘‘We did it without a couple of our key players, so it’s a credit to those young kids for stepping up into their roles and bringing the defensive pressure.’’

But earlier in the contest a win didn’t look quite as likely for LBU, the Bloods jumping well to take a two-goal lead from the first quarter.

The Cats sprung into action, the midfielders working their way into the game to take control, as they kicked four goals straight in the second quarter.

They led by one straight kick at half-time, on track for another morale-boosting win.

And the Cats had further opportunities to extend the lead in the third term, but couldn’t take their chances with an inefficient 2.6 (18) for the quarter.

With three goals at the other end for Elmore, the door was still open for the Bloods at the final break trailing by only five points.

But after a wild final term, the Cats held on to make it back to back wins for the first time since 2015.

Gibbs said winning the midfield battle had been important, allowing the side many more opportunities going forward.

Meyrick Buchanan continued to show his elite talent with a second consecutive best on ground performance to lead the Cats to a win.

The coach said when his brother Callum and Marcus Crook get back in the side, the midfield power would be a handful for any team.

‘‘He is a talent — and I can’t wait to see him with his brother and Marcus,’’ Gibbs said.

‘‘With those three together, I don’t think anyone can match it with them. You can cover one, but the others will pick up the slack.’’

Zeik Johnstone was just as influential with four huge goals to help the side across the line, and Gibbs said he’d also dragged a dangerous Elmore defender deep and prevented his run off half-back.

Nathan Dyson, Zegelin and Buchanan were also important up forward with two each.

Ricky Walsh was great throughout the contest, and Joe Wolfe stood up in the game’s crucial moments.

For Elmore, playing coach Brewster was unstoppable in kicking seven goals as he tried to drag his side across the line.

The win moved the Cats off the bottom of the ladder and into seventh, and a win next week against Heathcote would take them to sixth.

—Alex Mitchell

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