ONE of Old Collegians' teenagers levelled the scores and one of its veterans kicked the winning point as two generations combined for an inspiring win on Saturday.
Joe Nyikos converted a 50-metre penalty late in the final term against Allansford and, with roughly five minutes left to play, experienced utility Nathan Forth kicked the winning point.
It was a win full of merit. The Warriors were behind most of the day as rain fell consistently, making scoring difficult.
Outgoing coach Nick Sheehan said his players' desire was a catalyst in the 5.6 (36) to 5.5 (35) result.
"It rained all day and we were behind all day so to be in front at the final siren was good," he said.
Both teams were scoreless in the first term while the Cats eked out a seven-point lead at half-time.
Neither side kicked a goal in a third-term stalemate before the Warriors' 2.2 to 1.0 effort in the last quarter proved the difference.
"When we went forward, we felt we were always an opportunity to kick a goal, if we got it in there quick," Sheehan said. "When we went slow it gave them a chance to get numbers down there and congest it."
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"Eli Barker kicked one early to level it up and then it was scrap, scrap, scrap and then they went forward and kicked a flukey one off the ground," he said.
"I thought 'gee, that's going to be tough to get back' but our boys just kept on digging in. Joey Nyikos, an under 18 kid, got a free kick 25 metres out and then got given a 50m penalty.
"He kicked it. We thought he was likely enough to kick a goal on a day like today. He is a small who is smart.
"Nathan Forth had a shot with five minutes to go and kicked a point."
Seventh-placed Old Collegians are equal on premiership points with South Rovers (fifth) and Russells Creek (sixth) but are out of the finals running with two games to go due to an inferior percentage (57).
Sheehan said wins, like the one against the Cats, gave the club belief going into next season.
"If that game was played in the first half of the year, we probably would've been blown away in the second half," he said.
"But we're getting better. Jonah Bowles had a couple of big moments in the last quarter against a senior opponent where he got his body on the line and just gritted (his teeth) and out-marked him."
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