In an MC Labour Division 2 contest that went right down to the wire, Epping recorded their second win of the season by the barest of margin’s, holding off the Fitzroy Stars at Epping Recreation Reserve.
With scores level in the last few moments, a late behind from Alec Buchan proved to be the crucial score that allowed the home side to triumph 8.20 (68) to 10.7 (67).
Though the Blues never led at any of the quarter breaks, they had more opportunities in front of goal and were fortunate that inaccurate goalkicking didn’t come back to haunt them, as they finished with 11 more scoring shots than the Stars.
The victory now gives Epping an eight-point gap above the relegation drop, meaning the winless Stars would have to cause some upsets in order to avoid their first appearance in Division 3 since joining the competition in 2008.
Dallyce Taylor and Thomas Burnside were the stand outs in the Blues victory. Taylor was influential around the ground, meanwhile Burnside was vital up forward, finishing the day with two majors.
Having been an important leader for Epping all season, Leigh Judd was instrumental once again, with his run and carry off the halfback proving valuable for the Blues’ relentless attacks inside 50.
Having also been consistent performers this season, Bailey Caldow and Damon Marcon were also notable contributors in the side’s narrow victory.
Hotak Akram, Riley Livingstone and Cory Glass were named in the best for the Stars with the trio doing all they could in the heartbreaking defeat.
Livingstone in particular was impressive, who’s been a standout for them this season, he was impactful around the ground and would find the goals when called upon, leading the scoring for the Stars with three goals.
The first three quarters was a heated affair, with both sides desperate for the four points in order to avoid the possibility of relegation.
It was a close battle throughout the afternoon, with scores level at quarter time and the Stars only leading by three and two points in at half time and three-quarter time respectively.
Neither side would be able to register back-to-back goals, in an extremely tense final quarter.
Epping should have had the game sewn up midway through the term, but by scoring 2.9, it gave the Stars every chance, particularly when Taj Proctor slotted a home a late major to regain the lead for the visitors.
But despite having withstood a wave of attacking opportunities throughout the quarter, the Fitzroy Stars were unable to hold off the fast-finishing Blues outfit, as two behinds in the last moments of the match sealed a famous win for Epping.