Werribee Districts have survived the house of pain at Spotswood, coming away with an eye-catching 21-point win from the Western Region Football League division 1 blockbuster at McLean Reserve on Saturday.
The Tigers are starting to believe they belong among the competition’s elite after it took two-time defending premiers Deer Park until deep into time-on to get the job done against them earlier in the season … and now the tough road victory over second-on-the-table Spotswood.
“We know that Spotty for over a decade have been one of the benchmarks of the competition,” Tigers co-captain Matt Dean told Star Weekly.
“We’re obviously pretty happy at the moment.”
But the Tigers weren’t thumping their chests as they are still fifth on the table and can’t afford any more slip-ups.
Dean wasn’t about to claim the Tigers have Spotswood’s measure either.
He cast his mind back to the middle of last season, when the Tigers downed the Woodsmen for what turned out to be their only triumph against them in four encounters.
“We’re not going to get carried away,” he said.
“We played them mid-season last year and knocked them off at our home ground in a similar sort of game.
“But when it got to the business end, they had our measure. We’re happy with the win, but we understand it’s round nine, so we need to make sure we keep ourselves focused.
“It’s good to get the four points to keep us in touch with the top three, which is where every club wants to be come finals to give you a double chance.”
The Tigers made a bright start, kicking three goals to nil in the first term.
Their defence, led by Lachie Patterson, Connor Purton and Joey Halloran, held firm in the early exchanges.
Halloran had the unenviable task of trying to nullify Woodsmen big man Murray Boyd. “He’s been really good for them this year and, in my opinion, Joey beat him,” Dean said.
The game opened up in the second quarter and the Woodsmen found a way to hit the scoreboard. A six-goal-to-three term for the home side restored parity and it was game-on at half-time.
The Tigers applied the defensive blowtorch after the main break to keep the Woodsmen to just three goals in the second half, while piling on six goals from 18 second-half scoring shots.
Andrew Panayi booted four to maintain his lead on top of the league’s goalkickers’ chart, while Chris Molivas booted three.
Only the Tigers’ wayward kicking for goal – 12.20 from 32 scoring shots – prevented the score from blowing out.
Dean was thrilled with the way the Tigers ran out the game. “Last year we seemed to be with Spotty at three-quarter time and they did a lot of their damage in the last quarters,” he said on Saturday.
“In the two finals, they ran over the top of us and in one of the finals kicked 10 goals in the last quarter, so we knew we needed to run out games better and, thankfully, we did today.”
The Tigers travel to Altona this Saturday
and know too well the threat posed by their hosts, who upset them in the season opener. Meanwhile, Hoppers Crossing suffered its second loss in a row, going down to Deer Park by 38 points at John McLeod Oval.
Wyndhamvale secured a 13-point win over Caroline Springs to preserve its one-game break at the top.
Glenorden and Manor Lakes became further detached from the top four with heavy losses to North Footscray and Yarraville-Seddon respectively.
Sanctuary Lakes maintained its pursuit of the top two with a comfortable 40-point win over Tarneit, while Brendon Tyquin booted five goals in Wyndham Suns’ 62-point victory over cellar dweller Braybrook.