The highly anticipated Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 contest between Lalor and Reservoir saw the Mustangs hold on in dramatic circumstances, winning by just one point at Lalor Reserve.
The lead barely reached double digits all game, with the Mustangs holding on to a slight advantage in the dying stages of the match.
With time winding down, the Bloods won a free kick in their forward pocket, with Jaidyn Curzi getting the opportunity to put his side in front. But the kick faded left with the siren sounding moments later to seal a hard fought 10.11 (71) to 10.10 (70) victory for Reservoir.
Contested ball was the theme of the first half, with wet conditions impacting the efficiency of both sides. But as the conditions cleared it was Justin George’s side who made the most of their opportunities as they collected their first four points of the season.
For the Mustangs, Ryan Evans, who was injected into the ruck after quarter time, was a standout for the visitors. He was a key factor in the victory, creating clearances and often igniting attacking opportunities for his side.
Thomas Dunn was a smooth mover for Reservoir, finding and disposing the ball at such an effortless manner while others struggled in the conditions.
Meanwhile, Christian Pisano was a commanding presence in Lalor’s forward line, slotting four goals to go along with the numerous opportunities that converted into scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Justin Bentley and Jonathan McCumber-Kelly were both dynamic in the backline taking intercept marks and providing run from half back for the hosts.
Reservoir kicked the opening two goals of the afternoon after dominating possession in the wet and it looked early on that the Mustangs might take control of the game.
After being locked in a stalemate for some time, Lalor hit back with a goal of their own through a set shot and it was quickly evident that the home side were up for the challenge.
Abudin Awo was a highlight in the first term, winning multiple contested possessions and continuously sending the Bloods forward.
Pisano converted a set shot 50 meters out right on the quarter time siren, that delivered the Bloods’ second goal of the game and reduced the margin to one straight kick at the first break.
The second quarter started in more suitable conditions as the clouds passed. Play was free flowing with more uncontested possessions produced by both teams.
Scoring was hard to come early in the term, with the ball spending most of its time between the two 50 metre arcs. But the Bloods soon put their foot down in the late stages of the quarter kicking two goals to gain a healthy advantage.
The Mustangs replied just before the half time siren with Thomas Dunn converting from the goal square, to reduce their deficit to eight points at half time.
Reservoir started the second half in strong fashion. By dominating possession and displaying great pressure towards their opponents, they kicked first goal of the third quarter courtesy of Zachary Rodriquez.
It was then Reservoir ruck Ryan Evans who created their second goal, taking the ball out of the ruck contest and handing it to Rodriquez again who kicked truly for his second major of the game.
The match hung in the balance with neither side able to get a break on their opponents. Pisano again displayed his skills to kick his third of the afternoon and help Lalor regain the lead.
Two points to the good at three quarter time, the Bloods gained the upper hand early in the final term, with Pisano again in the thick of the action. He would score his fourth before setting up a teammate for another major moments later, to increase their lead to two goals.
Angelo Lamanna’s men looked to have made their move, but a goal from the Mustangs’ Robert Holland ignited a surge for the visitors. Reservoir proceeded to kick two goals in the space of 90 seconds to suddenly hit the front.
There was no telling how the game would pan out throughout the final stages of the game. Lalor would again respond through Nick Anastasi and Jaidyn Curzi before a Dale Wells goal would again put the Mustangs back in front.
With under a minute remaining, Curzi would win a free kick for a hold in the right forward pocket for the Bloods. His set shot would stay left and before the goal umpire could finish signaling a behind, the siren would sound, confirming another famous win for Reservoir.