A SEVEN-goal haul from Chris Bant steered Terang Mortlake to a come-from-behind win over Hamilton Kangaroos on Saturday.
Bant stood tall in Stephen Staunton’s absence, kicking half the Bloods’ goals in a match-winning display at Mortlake’s D. C. Farran Oval.
The Bloods trailed at every change before a five-goal-to-three final term secured a 13.8 (86) to 11.10 (76) result.
Terang Mortlake coach Matthew Irving said Bant was accurate, kicking 7.2, while Joe Arundell chimed in with four majors.
“We tried to get him (Bant) closer to goal,” he said.
“Mortlake suits a really deep forward and there is a lot of space to work into and he was able to get on the end of the hard work of the midfield.”
Hamilton Kangaroos built a 19-point lead at quarter-time.
It was trimmed to 16 at half-time and whittled down to two points at the final break.
Irving said the Bloods showed “guts and determination” to grind out a much-needed win.
“I thought we controlled most of the second half,” he said.
“Hamilton came hard in a six or seven-minute patch in the last quarter and we were able to withstand their onslaught.
“They missed a couple of crucial shots, which hurt them.”
Irving said it was a tough game in close, despite both teams boasting quality runners.
“I think in the context of the day we had 93 tackles — our season-high,” he said.
“There was a lot of pressure from both sides. It was a really physical game.
“We were able to grind out a win. We were confident we had the run in our legs to run it out.
“The guys we really relied on were Chris Bant, Chris Baxter and Danny Craven, who found another level in the midfield, and (Wil) Pomorin and (Jake) Meade stood out for the entire four quarters which was pleasing for them.”
Midfielder Brad Thomas was Hamilton Kangaroos’ best, while Nicholas Armstrong, Hugh Douglas and Tim Meulendyks kicked two goals apiece.
Both sides have 2-3 win-loss records heading into the final round before the interleague bye.