Mont home in a thriller
By Andrew Brasier
THE NORTHERN Football League Magpies showed their poise under pressure with a last gasp five-point win against West Preston at Moore Park.
Mont looked to be in real trouble with a handful of minutes to play after West edged to a one-point lead with two quick goals late in the last quarter.
But the ever lively Brent Fotheringhame restored the Magpies' lead with a strong mark and an accurate kick for goal at the clubrooms end of the ground.
Mont had led all day in what turned to be scrappy affair until the dying minutes of the round five match.
In the first term Mont attacked with the aid of a strong wind to the lake end of the ground, but after kicking the first major at the 11-minute mark peppered the goals, wasting their opportunities. The Magpies broke through for their second late in the quarter, going into the break 2.7-19 to 1.0-6.
The black and white boys defended well against the breeze in the second quarter. Goals to Jordy Steele and Danko Bzenic against the tide kept the visitors in front 4.8-40 to 4.2-26 at half time. The term was marked by the rapid movement of the ball from defence to attack yet both sides struggled to convert their chances. Magpie on-ballers Luke Collins, Ben Fennell and Ben Kennedy racked up the possessions in and around the packs. Yet scoring opportunities were limited and nearly always executed under pressure. Gun West midfielder Patrick Karnezis finished with six points for the day.
The third quarter was a dour struggle, with West defending desperately and Mont straining hard for a breakthrough. At one stage nearly all players could be located in one quarter of the field - the lake-end attacking zone. The football at this time resembled rugby, with ball-up after ball-up - an almost continuous rolling maul.
Mont 's Danko Bzenic, who was finding space in tight conditions, finally broke through for the Magpies with his second at the 18-minute mark.
Mont's 17-point lead at three quarter time was hard earned but there was no doubt West at home would press for a win in the last term.
The packs continued to form in the last quarter before West goaled at the five-minute mark to get within nine points. Another Rooster goal three minutes later after a miskick from a Mont defender brought them to within three points of the lead.
An in-form Luke Collins restored the 9-point balance at the 20-minute mark from a free before two quick West goals saw them lead for the first time in the match. West looked like they might hang on for the four premiership points before Brent Fotheringhame goaled from a set shot after taking a strong mark during a desperate passage of play.
Magpies coach Ben Haynes said his charges showed their class after an indifferent performance against Macleod.
"We improved our passing, and when we were challenged we responded,'' Haynes said.
West Preston-Lakeside 1.0-6 4.2-26 4.5-29 8.6-54
Montmorency 2.7-19 4.8-32 6.10-46 8.12-60
Goal kickers: D. Bzenic 3, L. Collins, B. Fennell, B. Fotheringhame, J. Steele, B. Kennedy
Best Players: J. McLellan, S. Binion, B. Kennedy , L. Collins, B. Fennell, D. Bzenic
Goal kickers: D. Valeri 2, S. Glover 2, M. Vincitorio, N. Valladares, J. Novelli, M. Kovacevic
Best Players: S. Glover, J. Clarke, A. Valeri, L. Lirosi, O. Uysal, P. Karnezis