By Lance Jenkinson
There are times when you have to just tip your cap to the opposition and say well done.
Werribee Districts coach Chris Gilham was in that situation on Saturday when Deer Park rolled his team in comprehensive fashion by 55 points at Soldiers Reserve.
The Tigers simply had no answers to the might of the six-time defending premiers before half-time, but at least showed some fight in the second half.
“We knew they were going to be hard to beat, but we gave ourselves a legitimate chance because we’ve been in good form,” Gilham said.
“We got the first goal and had the first couple of scoring shots, but once they got rolling … they were really sharp.
“It went from one end to the other on the back of our errors and they scored every time.
“That was as well as I’ve seen any team play.”
Werribee Districts were not without
their chances in the first half and managed
to boot six goals of their own. It was simply that Deer Park was in first gear from the outset.
The Lions were super efficient too, kicking 15 goals from 18 shots up to half-time to lead by 53.
“It was windy and swirly, but they couldn’t miss,” Gilham said. “If you make errors against the really good sides, they’re the ones that make you pay. We made a few and you always do, but they turn those errors into goals.”
Even Deer Park coach Marc Bullen said it was his side’s best performance in 18 months.
Werribee Districts can take a lot out of the game too.
The Tigers had their moments, particularly in the second half.
“After half-time, we dug in and were much more competitive, we were able to score,” Gilham said.
“We could’ve went two ways, one we could’ve said this isn’t our day and went on to get hammered, or we could dig in and keep having a crack.
“To our blokes credit, we didn’t take a backward step after half-time.”
Lee Johnston was one of the standouts for Werribee Districts for his ability to keep Jack Redpath’s impact to a minimum.
Dillon Viojo-Rainbow and Nayef Hamad had good moments in the midfield, while Lachie Rainbow continued his goalkicking touch with three majors.
Werribee Districts will face Point Cook in a local derby at Saltwater Reserve on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hoppers Crossing was merciless in its dismantling of Point Cook, winning by 132 points at Hogans Road Reserve. Brenton Payne (seven goals), Daniel Strnak (six) and Riley Kitchen (four) were unstoppable.
The Warriors will square off with Caroline Springs away at Town Centre Oval on Saturday.
In division 3, Wyndham Suns lost by 112 points to Albanvale.
Tarneit was also a shock loser, upset by 23 points away to Sunshine Heights.
Glen Orden is a game and percentage clear on top after a runaway 132-point triumph over Laverton.
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