Last-kick win rewards hard-working South Rovers

THREE final-quarter goals against a strong breeze lifted South Rovers to a memorable come-from-behind triumph against Kolora-Noorat.

The Lions celebrated Matt Wood’s 200-game milestone on Saturday in style, snatching the 7.7 (49) to 6.9 (45) win at Walter Oval with the last kick of the match.

Darcy Chandler was the hero. The teenager converted a set shot in a forward pocket after a tripping free kick with about 10 seconds left.

His effort came after ruckman Jordan Kavanagh and recruit Kyeran Ellery sparked the comeback with goals of their own.

Kolora-Noorat was on the verge of a gutsy win until then, having kicked the first four goals of the last quarter to turn a 4.5 to 2.6 deficit into a 14-point lead.

But South Rovers would not relent and earned reward for persistence — on Saturday and in the past month — when second-gamer Chandler struck at the death.

“I think our side was as strong as it’s been for a few weeks with the injuries we’ve had. It was positive that way,” coach Brendan Whelan said.

“The draw is starting to open up for us and if we can play like we did today there are going to be some wins there, which is really encouraging.

“It was just great to beat a side above us. 

“It was reward for effort, which has been there for the last eight or nine weeks.”

Whelan said the Lions had to abandon the defensive mentality which had served them so well when the Power hit the lead in the last term.

“We were kicking against a fairly stiff breeze in the last quarter. It was a matter of attacking,” he said.

“We’d been defending all day to try and keep their score down but we had to change it up.

“The last few minutes it was about getting it out to the side we had tried to keep it away from, it was an avenue to goal.

“We went that side and attacked and lucky enough it went our way. We got Darcy Chandler on the end of one and he put it through.”

Onballer Braden Hotker was best afield for the Lions for the fifth time this season,  while utility Nathan Krepp and Kavanagh were also pivotal.

Power teenager Luke Tebble was the only multiple goalkicker with three. Joe O’Sullivan, Nathan Cahir and Paul McSween were the visitors’ best.

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