Werribee has produced its best performance of the season to secure a gutsy fightback win over Casey Demons, prevailing by 13 points at Hogans Road Reserve in Hoppers Crossing.
In a bruising encounter played out in front of strong local support, the Tigers trailed by 14 points at the main change before gradually clawing back the deficit in the second half to hit the lead and take control of the game in the final term.
Coach John Lamont was thrilled with his side’s ability to back up after last week’s win against Essendon and get the job done in what he described as a “really tough, physical game.”
“It was a really spirited win,” Lamont said.
“We were down at three-quarter time and kicking to the non-scoring end but managed to kick three goals and hold Casey goalless.”
On the back of his selection to a second straight VFL representative squad, Matt Hanson again showed why he is rated as one of the competition’s top midfielders. Well held early, he had 10 disposals and four clearances in a massive final term to earn best-on-ground honours.
Captain Michael Sodomaco was another stood up when it counted after being restricted in the first half, moving from defence to play a critical on-ball role and collect nine last-quarter possessions.
Tom Gribble was typically prolific in the middle in amassing a team-high 28 disposals, as were Declan Mountford (24) and Will Fordham (23), who both provided plenty of run and carry.
The Tiger talls also proved crucial and put their height advantage to good use, Braydon Preuss running riot in the ruck with a whopping 64 hitouts and Daniel Nielson rock solid in defence to heavily restrict the Demons’ forwards.
Nick Larkey finished with four majors to be Werribee’s biggest contributor on the scoreboard, and Lindsay Thomas sprang to life to bag three second-half goals after a quiet opening.
In their Tiger debuts, Nick Buykx and Tom Ellard were both important contributors. Buykx had a huge game in defence, pushing forward for his side's first goal and going on to finish with 26 disposals, while Ellard collected 13 disposals and applied great pressure at both ends of the ground.
The result sees Werribee even its season ledger at 2-2 to sit just outside the eight and even on points with sixth-placed Richmond.
Earlier in the day, Werribee’s development side went down to Casey by 34 points.
The Tigers dominated the play early but missed their chances to make it count on the scoreboard before the Demons took control through the second half.
With their only home game in the Wyndham region now complete, the Tigers hit the road again with a trip to Wangaratta to take on Collingwood on Saturday, while the development side squares off against the Box Hill Hawks at Box Hill City Oval next Sunday.
Peter Jackson VFL
Werribee: 3.3 6.4 10.7 13.9 (87)
Casey Demons: 2.3 8.6 10. 9 10.14 (74)
Nick Larkey 4, Lindsay Thomas 3, Cameron Zurhaar 2, Jade Cleeland, Josh Williams, Will Fordham, Nick Buykx
Matthew Hanson, Daniel Nielson, Will Fordham, Declan Mountford, Braydon Preuss, Michael Sodomaco
AFL Victoria Development League
Werribee: 1.11 2.14 4.15 7.16 (58)
Casey Demons: 1.0 5.3 10.5 14.8 (92)