WAHGUNYAH unleashed a devastating eight-goal final quarter to overrun Dederang-Mount Beauty by 24 points in a spiteful clash at Wahgunyah on Saturday.
After trailing by 25 points at the final change, the Lions slammed on 8.5 to 0.4 to move within four premiership points of their fifth-placed opponents with seven rounds remaining.
Coach Nic O’Bryan sparked the revival with an outstanding performance from the midfield while Cody Milne, Dean Bigger, Nick Brockley and Dean Wright also played important roles in the late carnage.
Heath Northey and Brent Corcoran were others to stand out.
“It was a must-win game for us,” O’Bryan said.
“We had a strong breeze straight behind us in the last quarter and, even though we were four or five goals down, I thought we were still a good chance.
“It was hard to find a passenger and that’s what you need in these games.
“It keeps us around the mark.”
Dederang-Mount Beau- ty coach Marc Almond said lapses in concentration hurt the Bombers dearly.
“I’m proud of our efforts as the boys were gallant with all the injuries we had, but we can’t afford to drift in and out of games mentally and expect to win,” Almond said.
“It was a game of quarters.
“We won the first and third quarters and they won the second and last.
“We ran out of legs late and they finished over the top of us.”
Young gun Elliott Powell turned in a sensational performance for Dederang-Mount Beauty, with support coming from Matt Lee, Joel Heiner and Dale Lappin.
The Bombers were limited in their rotations after quarter-time with Frank Iaria (cut knee) and Andrew Cardwell (concussion) forced to the bench while ruckman Steve Bradshaw failed to take his place in the team.
Chiltern stayed in touch with the five by accounting for Rutherglen by 29 points at Chiltern.
The Swans gained a decisive break in the second term with three unanswered goals and cruised to victory through the efforts of Jayden Vandermeer, Matt Nichol, Chris Anderson and Ethan Boxall.
Rutherglen’s Sam Bowers continued his strong season with a fine showing, with support coming from Matt Glossop and Josh Quick.
Kiewa-Sandy Creek defeated Wodonga Saints by 61 points.
Led by Jason Bartel and Jye Shields, the Hawks had winners everywhere, with only inaccurate kicking for goal stopping them from recording an even bigger win.