TERANG Mortlake can see the pieces of the puzzle starting to come together.
The Bloods, who have five wins from 17 games, including two in their past four, pushed a top-three side to the wire on Saturday.
Their gallant 7.13 (55) to 6.8 (44) loss to South Warrnambool came a week after they surprised fourth-placed Portland.
"Over this last six or seven weeks we have been improving and belief and confidence in a young side has gradually grown," Terang Mortlake coach Ben Kenna said.
"It was a good result last week beating Portland at home and this was our last home game for the year and we thought if we played the same way and had the belief (we could push them)."
Kenna said it was important the Bloods implemented the intensity in their final Hampden league home game against Cobden next weekend.
He lauded their pressure against the Roosters, saying it was the catalyst for a 20-point half-time lead at Terang Recreation Reserve.
"To maintain probably four quarters of pressure on a top-three side was really pleasing," Kenna said.
"The boys' work rate was up all day and we probably didn't allow South to play the way they wanted to play which was good.
"At the end of the day South's couple of key talls were probably the difference in the game.
"Shannon Beks and Sam Kelly were good throughout the game, particularly in the second half. They (their teammates) probably kicked the ball in a bit more direct than what they did in the first half."
Beks finished with a game-high four goals.
On-field leader Jarryd Hay was Terang Mortlake's best while teenage debutant Tyler Vickers played his part on a wing and in the forward line.
"He showed a bit for a young bloke against an experienced opponent first up," Kenna said.
"He wasn't backward in presenting himself at the contest and applied pressure which was good."
Vickers' first game coincided with an important day for his family.
The Bloods' gate takings will be donated to help aid mental health work in memory of Vickers' older brother Thomas, who died in November last year.
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