Greensborough has given its Northern Football Netball League Division 1 top-three hopes a major boost with a thrilling three-point victory over Heidelberg in round 15 this weekend.
The Tigers took the lead at the 23-minute mark of the final term when a goal to Andrew Stellas with six seconds remaining secured the 12.9 (81) to 11.12 (78) victory for Greensborough at War Memorial Park.
Lachlan McQuilken was named best on ground for the Boro, with an impressive four-quarter display through the midfield. Jacob Pickett, Tynan Smith and Chris Clark were also influential in the win.
Billy Murphy continued his impressive run of form, with another four goals, to take his total to 18 in just five matches. The Boro spread the load up forward, with eight others booting singles.
Josh Gribben and Tom Sullivan were outstanding in defence for Heidelberg, while ruckman Sam Gilmore was a presence around the ground all day.
Sam Grimley, Harrison Payne, Ben Irving and Matthew Cecchin all booted two goals apiece, while Fletcher Carroll and Ryan Stone slotted singles.
Heidelberg did all the attacking early in the match, however was only able to muster three behinds, before Murphy booted Greensborough’s first goal against the run of play.
Dan McLinden proved an unlikely suspect up forward, taking a mark and converting minutes later, before Dylan Clancy and Murphy ran into open goals to give the Boro a 21-point quarter time lead.
Ryan Stone booted the Tigers first major in the opening minutes of the second term, courtesy of a 50-metre penalty.
The sides traded goals before Cecchin and Irving slotted two goals in as many minutes to cut the away side’s deficit to 16 points at the main break.
The third quarter was tightly contested, with neither side able to crack their opposition.
The first goal came at the 18-minute mark through Fletcher Carroll, before Grimley slotted another to push Heidelberg within one point.
The Boro looked like they could succumb to the pressure with just one player remaining on their interchange bench after Zak McCubbin and Brody Tickell were ruled out, before Dan McLinden fell hard to the turf midway through the third term.
However, there was still some fight left as Tristan Stead goaled before Murphy slotted his third in the final minute of the third quarter. Murphy booted another in the opening minutes of the final term as the Boro looked like running away with the game.
However, Heidelberg got on a roll and roared back into the contest with five of the next six goals, including a huge pack mark and checkside from Sam Gilmore, before Grimley converted to put the Tigers in front for the first time since the opening term.
The stage was set as the ball flew into Greensborough’s forward 50, however no one could get a clean kick away. A free kick to Andrew Stellas in a ruck contest set the home crowd alight and as he converted from close range, the Boro faithful erupted.
As the siren sounded the passion showed on the faces of Greensborough players, however it was heartbreak for the Tigers, who now sit in sixth place on the ladder, behind Bundoora on percentage.
Greensborough travels to North Heidelberg in a massive top-three clash in Round 16, while Heidelberg hosts Northcote Park.
Final score: Greensborough 12.9 (81) def Heidelberg 11.12 (78)