THE Murray Bushrangers held on for their best win of the TAC Cup defeating Sandringham Dragons in a thriller in Wangaratta on Saturday.
After playing some scintillating football in the first half to lead by 49 points at half-time, the Bushrangers lost their way and were forced to defend grimly in the dying minutes to win by two points.
Coach Darren Ogier said it was a match of two halves but was delighted to come out on top.
“We played extremely well in the first half and then the game totally flipped on its head,” Ogier said.
“They were good and we were ordinary.
“They played a really short possession game and our boys struggled with the accountability aspect of that.”
The Bushrangers sorely missed the drive of Nathan Drummond after half-time — after taking a sensational mark early, Drummond injured his hamstring late in the second quarter
Captain Nick Mellington was also sent off for 15 minutes, which helped the Dragons seize momentum.
Rennie’s Dan Howe was outstanding in the midfield, Isaac Muller turned in another strong performance in the ruck and Mitch Mahady played well in defence.
Dougal Howard also played a key role across half-forward and in the ruck and big forward Joshua Schache was the best forward on the ground with four majors.
The Dragons’ revival was led by Theo Thompson and Sam Mason.