Roos keep season alive after heart stopping win

Published on Sunday, July 7, 2024

Macleod pulled off a brilliant upset to keep their hopes of remaining in the Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 competition alive, after a nail-biting one-point win over West Preston-Lakeside at De Winton Park.

Seven majors were kicked between the two sides in an entertaining final term, with scores level in the last minute of the match.

Macleod’s William Tsitsis found himself in space close to goal with seconds remaining, and managed to put through a behind, and despite the Roosters’ best efforts to surge forward with urgency, time ran out with the Roos prevailing 10.17 (77) to 11.10 (76).

After Bundoora pulled off an upset of their own on the same day, Macleod still occupy bottom spot and sit a game behind the Bulls, but also Eltham, meaning they keep themselves in the hunt to avoid relegation with six games to play.

Mackenzie Hogg excelled again in midfield, always driving his side in attack, while Darcy Barden’s incredible campaign continued again, and kicked four important goals in an inspirational performance to get the home side over the line.

The Roosters were led by Matthew Harman in ruck and around the ground, while Kobe Brown was the away side’s most dangerous forward during the afternoon, kicking three goals.

Jake Chiminello got things underway for Macleod within a minute and half after converting his set shot from a free kick, before both sides had opportunities to kick majors over the next 10 minutes but were unsuccessful.

But the goals soon flowed again as Anthony Doherty and Callum Gibson found the big sticks for the Roos and Roosters respectively before Barden began to assert his dominance inside 50, with a strong one-on-one mark and set shot conversion.

Macleod then had a fourth when Doherty ran onto the loose ball inside 50 and nailed the running shot. It was the second time the home side had capitalised off a turnover in the middle of the ground, with their pressure on West Preston-Lakeside’s midfielders allowing them to take an early advantage into quarter time.

The Roosters managed a late major to end the opening term and started to reduce the deficit even further in the second quarter, as Kobe Brown kicked back-to-back goals to make it a two-point match at the eight-minute mark.

Craig Hayes’ men responded by creating a goal-for-goal period of the match midway through the second quarter, with Chiminello and Barden for the hosts, and Gibson and Dante Colosimo for the Roosters keeping the scoreboard ticking.

West Preston-Lakeside would hit the front for the first time late in the term, when 2022 Frank Rosbrook Medallist Matthew Harman took a strong contested mark and nailed his set shot at the 24-minute mark, helping his side establish a six-point half time lead.

The third term would dry up scoring wise, with Macleod particularly missing a huge opportunity to produce a big advantage by three quarter time.

They would kick eight behinds and no goals during the term, with all their behinds coming in an 11-minute period.

After their eighth behind, the Roos led by a point, but with only their second shot on goal for the term, Ian Aitken’s men did find the big sticks, courtesy of Nick Baring, who was playing his second game of the season.

Trailing by six points again heading into the final term, Macleod remained determined to produce multiple inside 50 entries and were starting to get reward for effort.

Barden kicked things off with consecutive majors inside the opening three minutes to regain the home side’s advantage before Zac Hudson also converted his set shot moments later, to see the Roos in complete control of the contest.

West Preston-Lakeside didn’t let the margin extend any further however, following goals from Brown and Colosimo to bring the deficit back to a point approaching time on.

Kurt Manuel and James Stepien then traded majors for either side before an Adam Valeri behind at the 26-minute mark tied things up.

The ball than lived inside Macleod’s front half for the remainder of the game, with Tsitsis getting boot to ball to produce the match-winning point and his side’s second win of the 2024 campaign.

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