The sweet feeling of victory is back at the Lions den.
South Rovers - shaking off a difficult and testing past month in the Warrnambool and District league - simply needed to respond, showcase its spark and resolve and bank a vital win in the context of its season.
It did just that, brushing aside a plucky Allansford outfit with slick ball use, fast play through the corridor, and a forward line which looked nimble at ground level and threatening in the air to run out 17.12 (114) to 11.7 (73) winners.
"After a couple of tough weeks, we thought we started to get back on track last week and we knew Allansford would be a tough opponent," Lions coach Adam Matheson said of the win, which leaves the team a win outside the top five.
"We knew it would be tough, statistically it was a good game for us but from a scoreboard point of view it never really felt comfortable."
The Lions always held a lead after kicking two goals within the first minute of the game - courtesy of a big clunk from returning spearhead Tim Ryan (four goals) and a fifty metre penalty seconds later.
Matheson's side held a six-point advantage at quarter time but broke the game open through excellent run and carry, kicking 13 goals to eight across the remaining three quarters.
The Lions mentor said he was impressed with his group's willingness to use the corridor.
"We moved it the best by foot for a while and tried to link up and get some cleaner clearances and especially in the second half I thought we continued to improve," he said.
"It's been a focus - really good teams hurt you by spreading from stoppage and hurt you with forward handball."
Welcoming Ryan and vice-captain Dylan Cox back to the side was welcome relief for the Lions' forward mix, with the pair combining for seven goals, while skipper Trent Harman had some electric moments to bag three himself.
"It's always great to have a focal point up forward and while Timmy was probably a bit hampered after quarter time he still battled on," he said.
"We felt like we fell down a bit on half forward so we put a bit more speed on the flanks and we applied a bit more pressure up forward."
Matheson pointed to the likes of wingman Jake Bacon as a decisive factor while Sandon Williams' form across half-back was also crucial after being best on against Kolora-Noorat.
Allansford coach Tim Nowell lamented turnovers and inconsistency in what he labelled a 'disappointing' performance.
"Our ball use let us down, we weren't clean - last week, compared to (Saturday) it was like a different side," he said.
"We've got a fast game plan, but if you turn it over it really hurts you. I'll never question the endeavour of the guys but if things aren't going your way, you have to be accountable.
"You look at the free ball, it was just us not being accountable.
"It's a rollercoaster, one minute we're up and then back down - it is just consistency in the younger fellas we need to look at.
"i'm disappointed, it wasn't our best game of footy."
Cats full-forward Robbie Hare almost kept his side in the contest by himself with a remarkable eight goal display, including a period of three goals within one minute of match play to give the team some hope heading into the final term.
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