MITTA United extracted some revenge for last year’s Tallangatta and District league grand final loss by bringing down Barnawartha in a thriller at Eskdale on Saturday.
With scores level early in the final quarter, the Blues kicked the final three goals to win by 18 points and shore up second position on the ladder after seven rounds.
It was their sixth straight win.
Coach Clinton Gilson was delighted with the way his players ran out the match.
“It was probably only the last five minutes where we got on top,” Gilson said, “there was nothing in it all day.
“Barnawartha has been finishing games really well so it was good to get another four points in the bank.”
While Mitta United had many fine players, none were better than Jarrod Gorupic.
He shut down Tigers star Josh Spence and provided plenty of run from defence while former premiership player Ethan O’Donnell impressed in his return to the club after a playing stint in Melbourne.
Joel Wilson won his wing, Danny Stewart was creative across half-forward and Matt Rigby was solid in defence.
The Blues, who went into the game without Darcy Eaton (broken hand) and Nathan Reynoldson (toe), found avenues to goal in Aiden Adams and James Gray who kicked three goals each.
Gray had an absorbing battle with Barnawartha backman Ryan Lemba with the honours being split.
Mitch Exton, Cameron McNeill and Justin Mull also played well for the visitors while Nathan McKendrick made a solid return after being cleared from O and M club Wodonga late last week.
Kiewa Sandy Creek continued its relentless form by rolling Dederang-Mount Beauty by 87 points.
The Hawks unleashed a sensational opening quarter to lead by 41 points at the first change and were never threatened with Jack Andrew, Trent Turner, Jye Shields and Jason Bartel leading the way.
Ruckman Steve Bradshaw tried hard for the Bombers but support was limited.
Chiltern returned to the winning list with a 46-point win over Tallangatta.
The Swans were desperate for the points and responded superbly with Matt Nichol, Dale Licht and Josh Marx overcoming every challenge the home team put forward through Aaron Baker and Joel Quonoey.
It was probably only the last five minutes where we got on top. There was nothing in it all day.