Werribee has capped off an emotionally charged week with a rousing 14-point win over the Box Hill Hawks in the wet at Avalon Airport Oval.
Werribee: 5.2 8.3 10.3 15.5 (95)
Box Hill Hawks: 5.2 7.5 10.8 12.9 (81)
Werribee: A. Hooper 5, J. Sharp 2, B. Moloney 2, J Berry 2, J Bennett 2, J Maishman
Box Hill Hawks: D. Mirra 4, O. Hanrahan 2, C. Jones 2, H. Burt, W. Murphy, J. Ross, L. Walker
Werribee: S. Collins, A. Hooper, M. Sodomaco, J. Butts, B. Moloney, J. Maishman
Box Hill Hawks: M. O’Donnell, D. Mirra, J. Cousins, M. Knoll, C. Jones, L. Mackie
How it happened
Spurred on by the news of the impending departure of coach John Lamont and the long-awaited return of Nathan Laracy, Werribee came out firing to hold an 18-point lead late in the opening quarter before three quick goals to the Hawks brought things all square at the first change. It paved the way for an intriguing arm wrestle through the middle quarters that produced five lead changes and saw the contest descend into a scrap at times as the heavens opened and the hail began to fall after half time.
A goal to Chris Jones at the seven-minute mark of the final term gave the Hawks an 11-point buffer and had the visitors threatening to pull away, but the home side responded with the last four goals of the game – which included a miraculous right-foot snap from Ben Moloney and a brace from Andrew Hooper to take his match total to five – to secure yet another famous victory over the Hawks and reclaim the beyondblue Cup.
From the coach
“Our pressure and tackling efforts in the last quarter in particular were terrific. Matthew Brett took a mark on our half forward line that, in the context of the game, was probably mark of the year. It was like a slips catch, and on a wet day, he had no right to take that mark.
“There was just some terrific footy, particularly late in the game, and it was a great culmination to what’s been a tough week at a personal level.”
Sam Collins: 20 disposals (15 kicks, five handballs), 17 hitouts, four clearances
Andrew Hooper: 12 disposals (nine kicks, three handballs), five goals
Michael Sodomaco: 21 disposals (16 kicks, five handballs), six clearances
Jordon Butts: 16 disposals (12 kicks, four handballs), 10 marks
Ben Moloney: 14 disposals (nine kicks, five handballs), two goals
Joe Maishman: 23 disposals, eight inside-50s, seven clearances
Tom Gribble: 27 disposals, eight clearances, seven inside-50s
What it means
The win moves Werribee above Sandringham and into 11th place with six wins and 11 losses with one game remaining.