Greensborough were able to hold their nerve throughout their Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 battle with Bundoora, eventually winning by 11 points at Yulong Reserve.
A low-scoring, high-intensity clash between 4th and 5th on the ladder saw the Boro maintain composure against a late surge from the Bulls, finishing with a 7.9 (51) to 5.10 (40) victory.
Jamie Smith dominated in the ruck for Greensborough, while Daniel Ferronato and Thomas Phelan kicked two goals each, the only multiple goal scorers for the visitors.
Skipper Jack Johnston was a key player again in the defensive half, his intercept marking and determination to win every contest was enormous in the triumph.
Michael Ryan’s side enjoyed Joseph Palazzolo’s return, with Jesse King and Peter McEvoy also impressive contributors in the forward half.
The Bulls have now lost three straight games, all three against top five sides from the 2022 season and slip to sixth on the ladder as a result. Meanwhile Greensborough move to 4-2 and into third position, just one game behind ladder leaders Heidelberg.
The opening term began plenty of intensity, but very little scoreboard contributions.
Against his old side for the first time, Nathan Howard would kick the opening goal of the match for the visitors, a reward for his side’s territory wins in the early stages of the quarter.
Jamie Smith’s rucking was impressive at stoppages, and his ability to bomb the ball across the ground meant that Bundoora were only able to hit the scoreboard with two behinds by the time the siren sounded for quarter-time.
Michael Ryan instructed his side to “be smart when you win the ball”, and “facilitate your teammates to make good decisions.”
Zane Barker was able to capitalise on this advice, as he kicked the Bulls’ first goal in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
The ball bounced between defenders and forwards inside Bundoora’s attacking 50, as the Bulls turned up the pressure.
Peter McEvoy was a highlight for the hosts in the second quarter, chasing down his opponents and winning the ball at every opportunity.
However, the Boro still managed to kick two second quarter majors, taking advantage of the very few opportunities the visitors had in their forward 50, keeping them in the lead at half time as a result.
The rain started to come down over an already-muddy Yulong Reserve in the third term.
Greensborough were kept goalless in the quarter with Bundoora turning up the pressure. But the Bulls could only muster one goal themselves courtesy of Jesse King.
Rayden Garrard was a stand-out for the visitors in difficult conditions, and for Bundoora, Ben Young was dominant around the ground throughout the third quarter.
With a 12-point lead at three quarter time, Saade Ghazi’s message was clear, “win the quarter”.
The Boro came out on top in the final term, with two quick goals from Daniel Ferronato and Harrison Andronaco extending the visitors lead out further.
However, Bundoora quickly responded with a major from Nathan Phillips and then from Jesse King to reduce the deficit back to two goals.
Lachlan East was a clear highlight for the Bulls and a major contributor to Bundoora’s last-minute surge.
Pressure from the Bulls saw them with multiple inside-50 opportunities, however an inability find the goals allowed Greensborough to keep their tight lead intact. The work of Angus Seivers was critical in this period, allowing no easy avenues to goal from his direct opponents.
A goal after the siren by Peter McEvoy saw the home team’s losing margin shrink to 11 points, but it was Greensborough who would register their fourth win of the season.