WARRNAMBOOL coach Ben Parkinson hopes a gritty win against Terang Mortlake will help it regain confidence sapped after a form slump which included three triple-figure losses.
The Blues' 29-point half-time lead was wiped with the Bloods drawing level at three-quarter-time on the back of fast-flowing play.
A two-goal to one final term was enough for the Blues to eke out a 9.12 (66) to 8.12 (60) victory at Reid Oval and give themselves breathing space in fifth spot on the Hampden league ladder.
"It was a tale of two different games really. The first half we did exactly what we wanted to do and were five goals up at half-time," Parkinson said.
"They went and had a real dip at doing what they wanted to do. With where we're at and where we've been in the past month (with heavy defeats) we probably tightened up a little bit and went back into our shells and went away from taking the kicks we were taking in the first and second quarters and just retreated.
"Our equation is win the ones we should and we should play finals."
Terang Mortlake coach Ben Kenna said it was a "courageous performance" from his team which lost defender Gus Bourke to a hamstring injury in the first term.
"I feel like in general every side we've played second time around we've been more competitive," he said.
"Warrnambool beat us by 90-odd points the first time around. I guess that is the message I am going to get out the last five games - to try and be better than we were last time and try and pinch a win or two."
Kenna said the Bloods, who have three wins from 13 games, showed spirit to fight back in the second half.
"Warrnambool played with a bit more purpose and intensity than we did in the first half," he said.
"We didn't seem to adjust to the conditions - it was a bit windy - and sometimes on a firmer ground which we haven't played on for a little while, the ball bounces around and it's a different feeling.
"We seemed to adjust to that and play with a bit more freedom and took the game on in the second half."
Parkinson was proud of teenager Amon Radley who played on through duress.
"Someone landed on his face and busted his nose and he was a bit bruised and banged up," he said.
"He was able to will himself to play the whole game."
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