CHRIS Hay kicked a goal to remember on Saturday against Dalyston.
The full forward kicked the goal that gave Tarwin a thrilling three-point win.
The cheers from the Tarwin clubhouse, led by the 2004 premiership team who were celebrating a reunion, drowned out the final siren and left Dalyston shell-shocked that they had let the game slip from their grasp in the final 10 minutes.
Dalyston led at all three quarters but Tarwin’s tackling intensity left Dalyston unable to play its usual run and carry game.
The Magpies started off hard and fast, the first goal from a quick handpass from Blake Carew to Michael Kraska who snapped his first of four.
Tarwin replied quickly through Hay for his first, his booming kick sailing over the pack from 50m out.
Dalyston then took control of the quarter, although the Magpies’ inaccuracy kept the Sharks in the contest; Dalyston struggled with the set shots and Tarwin struggled to get the ball out of its defensive 50.
A highlight for the quarter for Tarwin was Brenton Byrnes winning plenty of the taps, but it couldn’t be converted as Hayden Brown and Travis Cameron were well covered at the stoppages.
Tarwin’s intensity lifted in the second quarter, with Brown shrugging off his opponent to direct more forward 50 entries.
Dalyston’s game started to unravel as Tarwin pounced on everything, especially in the tight contests.
The pressure forced bad-decisions from Dalyston – handballs to players who had nowhere to run, miscommunication and a few instances of tangling up their own players.
The congested play resulted in turnovers to Tarwin and frustrations at boiling point.
After a rousing up by the coach in the rooms, and the reunion party really getting into the swing of it, Tarwin’s game went up another level.
Tarwin scored only seconds into the quarter through Byrnes and suddenly there was only six points in Dalyston’s lead.
Dalyston’s undisciplined play saw Hay add to his tally.
Further mistakes led to the Magpies playing a more defensive style which meant the game became stilted and congested.
The first goal of the quarter was 12 minutes in, from an unlikely Tarwin snap.
Dalyston fought back with some gritty ground work and surged back in to the lead, reaching 11.10 before a double 50m penalty gifted Tarwin’s Brown with his first and only goal of the game.
At the final quarter, Tarwin was 17 points down.
Tarwin put the pressure on immediately, Ben Chalmers scoring in the first minute to cut the margin to 11 points.
A mark and shot from a tight angle saw Tarwin’s Jamie Cann score his second two minutes later.
Tarwin’s players streamed forward at every opportunity and put their body, and in the case of 15 year-old debutante Ben Green his face, on the line, smothering and chasing down players and earning the rewards from the umpires.
Tarwin dominated but couldn’t convert while Dalyston struggled to get the ball out of the 50m arch.
Simon McMicking broke the run of points with a goal at 10 minutes to give Tarwin the lead for the first time in the match.
A chain of quick handballs down the clubhouse wing ended with Hay who converted again to extend the Sharks’ lead.
But Dalyston, shocked into action, slammed on some quick goals, led by some determined work by Paul Brosnan.
Dalyston clawed back the lead, but the Magpies took their foot off the accelerator for just a few seconds and Tarwin rushed the ball to Hay in the dying minutes.
Hay went back, lined up and kicked truly – not even the vocal Dalyston crowd behind him and all the car horns blaring could distract him from the most important kick of the game.
Hay’s goal had the Tarwin grounds shaking with the celebrations – a three point win against the more fancied Magpies, and breaking Dalyston’s good run at Shark Park.