WAHGUNYAH has kept its slim finals chances alive with a stirring 33-point victory over Tallangatta.
The Lions trailed by nine points at the start of the final quarter, but ran all over the Hoppers to kick seven unanswered goals and claim an unlikely victory.
A purple patch from Aaron Robins that began late in the third quarter and continued into the final quarter sparked the Lions into action, with Robin kicking three goals the blink of an eye to help Wahgunyah seize control of the match.
The Lions were a different team after the main break, trimming a 24-point half time margin to just nine in the third quarter, with the aforementioned Robin and Terence Jones among the catalysts for the home side.
Dean Skinner played a blinder and Thomas Woods was influential in his first game since the Lions’ round eight victory over Chiltern.
While he was pleased with the result, Wahgunyah coach Nick O’Bryan said the Lions still have a lot of work to do to prove they deserved a place in the top five.
“We’re a bit disappointed with where we are at this stage, we need to play pretty well to sneak in, and that’s relying on a few other results to fall our way,” O’Bryan said.
“But it was great to get a win, we need a few more if we’re going to catch the likes of Barnawartha and Mitta.
“There’s a big gap between our best and our worst at the moment, so we need to tighten that up if we want to make the five.”
Hoppers coach Zac Fulford said there were no excuses for giving up their three-quarter time lead.
“We’ve had a few come out of the side in the past few weeks through injury, but there’s no excuse for letting winnable games slip,” he said.
“It’s something we have to address as a team and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
The Hoppers are still a game clear in second place, but are being pursued by Chiltern, Beechworth and Barnawartha, who are all just four points behind on seven wins apiece.