Laurimar flew out of the blocks and led from go to whoa to defeat Heidelberg West by 21 points at Laurimar Reserve in Round 14 of the Northern Football Netball League’s Division 3.
The win puts the Power just a game behind South Morang, Panton Hill and Mernda inside the top-four, while the Hawks are now resigned to missing finals action in 2018.
The game was won in the first term when Laurimar booted 5.6 to 0.2. The home side its lead in both the second and third stanzas and looked set for a big win – leading by 47 points at the last break.
Power coach Justin Sherman implored his team to finish off well in the final quarter.
But Heidelberg West made a spirited comeback – kicking a goal in the first 20 seconds of the term and getting within 14 points with about five minutes to go. The Hawks managed six majors for the term – with Kyl Ewart booting two to finish with five for the day.
Matt Reinke also kicked two goals in the final term – including a wonderful soccer type goal when he struck the ball in mid-air and it sailed through.
However, a goal from Dallas King – one of five for him – sealed the deal for Laurimar and it was the last major of the contest.
Also helping his team win was Bradley Deed. He took some steadying marks and was able to slow the tempo of the game when needed.
Deed – along with Jacson Cecil – each booted three goals, with regular goal kicker Josh Williamson adding two.
Seventeen-year-old Joshua Leather excelled in the ruck for Laurimar and looks to be a player of the future. Leather and several other teenagers have come through the junior ranks together and are now starting to make an impact on the senior competition.
“Stoked to get the win,” Laurimar coach Justin Sherman said.
Sherman was also impressed with stand-in captain Mitch Thompson, whose hard contest on the ball as an inside mid helped set up the win.
The loss by the Hawks was a microcosm of their season – a very slow start, then better, but just falling short of the mark.
The late surge was a surprise – given their lack of rotations.
“Super proud of the way we fought it out,” Heidelberg West coach Gary Cutler said. “But they were hungrier and deserved the win.”
Kane Moore was solid down back for the Hawks – as was Ben Kennan.
Kennan drifted forward late in the game and took a wonderful contested mark. His shot was going to be a tough one, but a 50-metre penalty took him to the goal square for his first major of the season.
Justin Bentley played his best game for the year and got plenty of the ball.
Heidelberg West now goes to the bye before hosting South Morang at Heidelberg Park. Ironically, a win in this game by the Hawks will aid Laurimar’s finals aspirations.
Laurimar also plays South Morang next up – at Mill Park Lakes Reserve in Round 15. A win by the Power would see them draw level with the Lions with a game in hand – albeit still trailing them on percentage.
However, Laurimar plays the bottom three sides after that to finish off the regular season.
Final score: Laurimar 14.12 (96) def Heidelberg West 11.9 (75)