By Lance Jenkinson
Werribee Districts had a good idea of what it was in for against St Albans, Western Region Football League division 1’s biggest improver.
The Tigers were not disappointed by the challenge the visitors sent their way in an enthralling match at Soldiers Reserve on Saturday.
The Tigers had to withstand a physical barrage and play out the whole four quarters to emerge with an 18-point win that halted their losing skid at two games.
Tigers coach Chris Gilham was proud of the “tough grind” that secured victory.
“They’re very physical, they’re an aggressive team and they like to try and intimidate,” Gilham said.
“We just had to cope with it and then try to get the game on our terms a bit with our outside run and ability to score.
“It was a grind, but we got there in the end.”
Not until deep into time-on of the last quarter did Werribee Districts display a semblance of calm.
It was a rollercoaster game throughout, with both sides having periods of dominance. The Tigers clinched the victory with late goals to Cameron Lee, Jordan Patty and Nick Buykx. Lee and Patty put on a small forward masterclass for Werribee Districts.
With the Tigers’ leading goalkickers – Oscar Junker, Lachie Rainbow and Andrew Panayi – out with injury, they relied heavily on their small forward duo to kick a winning score.
Lee and Patty combined for 10 goals, six to Lee and four to Patty.
“Someone had to step up and those two boys did a great job,” Gilham said. “They got the rewards in the end.”
Lee thrived in the spotlight for Werribee Districts.
“He’s a small, but he can mark the ball, he’s a good hit-up lead and a dead-eye dick in front of goal,” Gilham said. “He doesn’t need many opportunities.
“I think he kicked six straight and four in a row in the third quarter that really ignited us.”
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If Lee and Patty were the match-winners, Josh Mould was the game saver for Werribee Districts. Mould was given the arduous task of nullifying dangerous St Albans small forward Ben Said, doing so with aplomb.
“Josh is a guy we chop and change his role regularly,” Gilham said. “We took him out of the midfield and put him back in defence to do a role for the team.
“He played on Ben Said, one of the leading goalkickers in the league … he kicked seven against us last time. But Josh held him to one goal.
“Josh’s ability to win the one-on-ones – to not only spoil, but get it to ground and clear the area – was fantastic, as was his intercept marking.”
In other division 1 games, Jack Smead kicked six and Todd Caulfield booted five in Point Cook’s 141-point win over Albion.
Hoppers Crossing had a down week, losing to Spotswood by 69 points.
In division 2, Wyndhamvale cruised to an 81-point win over Newport.
Point Cook Centrals tumbled to fourth with a 29-point loss to Parkside.
In division 3, Glen Orden had a 67-point win over Laverton.
Tarneit had a disappointing 28-point loss to Sunshine Heights, while Wyndham Suns went down by 31 to Albanvale.