In an important Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 battle at Ben Frilay Oval, Greensborough have bounced back from a heavy defeat last week to claim a 22-point triumph over Hurstbridge.
The Boro got out to a 29-point lead at half time, keeping the Bridges goalless in the process, before holding their advantage throughout the remainder of the match to finish 9.12 (66) to 5.14 (44) victors.
Greensborough, who remain in fifth spot, are now six points clear of sixth placed Hurstbridge, establishing a crucial gap form the rest of the competition ahead of the second half of the 2023 campaign.
Ben Pannam had his best performance of the year for the visitors in a strong display, alongside VFL pair Charlie Bowes and Zac Hart, as well as the inform skipper Jack Johnston.
Will McFawn was the only multiple goalkicker between the two sides, with Saade Ghazi’s side boasting eight individual goalkickers.
Liam Middleton was a standout for Hurstbridge, with Blake Fitzgerald and Jake Richards also impressive despite a disappointing day for their side.
The game was full of pressure from both sides in the opening few minutes, it led to the first scores of the match from the two teams.
Blake Fitzgerald laid a strong tackle to win a holding the ball free kick, but he couldn’t convert his set shot, however minutes later, strong front half pressure from the Boro forced a turnover, allowing Matthew Haynes to kick truly on the run from the paint of 50 to register the first goal of day.
That same offensive pressure would gift the visitors their second major just minutes later with Lachlan Agnew finishing the brilliant work done by his fellow forwards to make it a 12-point game.
Greensborough continued to dominate over the next five minutes but could only add three more behinds to their score.
Both sides traded shots on goal to round out the quarter, but no further goals were added, with the visitors maintaining their 12-point lead into quarter time.
Saade Ghazi’s men didn’t waste time in extending their advantage, with Ethan Luke kicking truly from close range just two minutes into the second term.
The shots continued to come for Greensborough, and they could’ve stretched their lead out even further in the early stages of the quarter. Even when Hurstbridge were able to get the ball inside their attacking half, it didn’t last long as the away side’s rebound 50 ability was on full show, keeping hosts to a second straight goalless quarter as a result.
Two more goals gave the Boro a comfortable 29-point lead at the main break.
The Bridges went on to win the third term in an improved effort, however they were again inaccurate in front of goal, registering 2.5 for the quarter.
Joel Cordwell’s men had many chances to put Greensborough on the back foot, but they couldn’t find the big sticks, partly thanks to a disciplined Boro defensive unit.
Nicholas Kent broke the drought 10 minutes in for the hosts before Will Cookson slotted through a nice major from a tight angle moments later to suddenly bring it back to a 14-point game.
However, Greensborough were quick to respond, with Harrison Andronaco and Will McFawn kicking goals in quick succession to establish a 25-point three quarter time lead.
Both sides exchanged behinds in the opening minutes of the last quarter before Joel Trudgeon kicked one of the goals of the day, as from close to the boundary line and outside 50, he nailed a shot on goal to all but seal the game.
However, the Bridges weren’t going down without a fight. They brought the deficit back to 14 points by the 19-minute mark after three straight goals, keeping their comeback chances alive.
But time was against the hosts and despite their best efforts, they couldn’t find another goal, with a major on the siren finishing off a solid afternoon for Greensborough.