Heidelberg West have produced their most impressive performance of the 2022 Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 season, defeating Old Eltham Collegians by 24 points at Eltham College.
The game was in the balance until three quarter time, with the Hawks taking a four-point lead heading into the final term, before a seven goal to three last quarter gave the visitors a 13.3 (81) to 8.9 (57) triumph.
Heidelberg West have now won four of their last five matches and sit just one game behind fourth placed Kilmore as they look to cause a shake up to the top four.
The Turtles meanwhile have now lost two consecutive games, also losing their top two spot to percentage, as they hope to welcome back some key players for the second half of the season.
Hawks senior coach Michael Missen was proud of how well his side performed when challenged by one of the strongest sides in the competition.
“We lost a couple of important players during the week unfortunately and we had a few guys play different roles to great effect,” he said.
“I’m rapt with the boys’ leadership and with them responding after being challenged in tough conditions for footy.”
Alex Hywood moved into the top three of the competition goalkicking charts after finishing the day with six goals with Jordan Vellios and Allan Young too playing key roles up forward, combining for five majors.
Hawks senior assistant coach Terry Doukas was pleased the cohesion that was created inside the Hawks attacking 50 as well the accuracy of the side, kicking just three behinds from 16 scoring shots.
“Every week one out of the three (Hywood, Vellios and Young) always threaten to pop up and today we had literally had all three of them at once, which was great,” he said.
Hywood was named in the best alongside Alex Williamson and Tom Kimpton.
Doukas was also praised the performances of Lachlan Reinke and Brad Moore, who played shutdown roles on Turtles small forwards Jack Snow and Nick Snowdon.
“They nullified the effect of two really quality small forwards (plus) provided run and bounce and a real contest on the other end of it,” he said.
Matthew Keys and Jay Smith combined well for the Turtles up forward, kicking five majors each.
After Keys kicked the opening goal of the afternoon, the Hawks quickly took control of the contest, kicking the next four majors.
Hywood and Vellios converted two goals each and in the space of nine minutes, a seven-point deficit turned into a 15-point quarter time lead.
The home side had their only period of dominance in the second quarter, keeping Heidelberg West scoreless while kicking three majors on their own, thanks to Keys, Nick Snowden and Jack Snow, to take a handy three-point lead into the main break.
Momentum continued for Old Eltham Collegians in the third term when Benjamin Cox kicked a major in the opening two minutes to extend their advantage to 12 points.
But after the goals slowed down for a short duration, the Hawks began to claw their way back into the match, with Hywood’s third major of the game as well as Luke McGennisken’s third major of the season, allowing the visitors to gain a four-point lead heading into the final term.
A 10-goal quarter followed with lots of intensity shown between both sides.
But not only were the Hawks finding the big sticks more often, but they were able to respond to the pressure the Turtles threw at them.
Allan Young kicked the first two majors of the last quarter and it finished a further two from Hywood to cap off a brilliant seven goal term for Heidelberg West and an even more brilliant 24 point win over Old Eltham Collegians.