Merrivale close to becoming top five team in more ways than one

Kicking on: Merrivale's Tate Porter is one young Tiger who continues to take his own game to a new level each week. Picture: Christine Ansorge
Kicking on: Merrivale's Tate Porter is one young Tiger who continues to take his own game to a new level each week. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Merrivale continues its fight to break into the top five.

The Tigers downed Dennington 13.16 (94) to 5.5 (35), to again keep its finals chance alive.

Coach Jason Rowan alluded to talk his side was yet to take a big scalp, and had a reply.

He said he believed the Tigers had bridged the gap between them and the sides above.

"As I said to the boys, you can say we are beating some teams below us or on even par, but you still have to get the job done,” he said.

"And to their credit the boys are just finding a way to get it done week in week out.

"Timboon down here I thought we were a better side on the day, but they happened to sneak over the line by I think it was six or seven points

"We played Kolora (Noorat) down there earlier on and we were only 12 points down halfway through the last quarter, (Old) Collegians first round we were level at half-time.

"So look there are signs that we can mix it with the sides above us.”

The star forward, who booted six goals to take his season tally to 57, admitted there was still work to be done.

But the Merrivale mentor was confident his side was not far away from being a real finals contender.

"We tend to have little lapses through our games,” he said.

“And that’s when good teams can sort of get away on us and blow the game out of the window.

“But if we can focus on getting them little lapses out of our quarters and playing four solid quarters, I think we can match it with the sides up above us.”

Dennington is the only side the Dogs are worried about.

Coach Jacob Rhodes said their performance was “really disappointing”, which the scoreboard confirmed.

The Dogs have kicked just seven goals in their past two matches, and their coach said it had made their loses hurt more.

"Not putting that scoreboard pressure on doesn't help," he said.

"After only kicking two goals last week, we wanted to try and make a bit of an impact and put scoreboard pressure on this week to get us up and about.

"But to kick two goals before half-time just wasn't enough.

"It comes down to decision-making and ball use.

"We had a bit of play then we would just turn it over at half-forward and the next minute they were on the rebound they were shooting off."

Merrivale faces another tough assignment when it travels to take on the Timboon Demons at home.

And Dennington meets second-placed Old Collegians fresh from the bye.

There are signs that we can mix it with the sides above us.

Jason Rowan