Poowong match-winner Tommy Wyatt was constantly jetting into the clear via his superior fitness and skills, setting up goals or kicking them himself in an otherwise low scoring affair.
POOWONG and Nyora faced off last Sunday in the only game for the year that both clubs desperately want to win and on their home turf it was Poowong which came away with a hard-fought win.
Sadly, it’s the only time for the season, after the re-amalgamation of the league, that the two near-neighbours will meet.
And, although Poowong got out to almost a six-goal lead at the start of the second quarter, Nyora pegged them back to be only seven points adrift with plenty of time left in the last quarter.
The first quarter was a typically dour, low-scoring affair from the these fierce competitor with just the one goal to show, importantly kicked by Poowong.
And they opened up in the second quarter with another straight away.
Nyora finally got on the board when their big forward, Scott Clark, marked strongly and goaled. His opponent Josh Harvey looked likely to have his hands full but he received excellent support from the other defenders and managed to keep Clark to three for the day.
The teams were on even terms when Joel Anderson capped off some fine play with a snap-shot goal for Nyora.
Poowong’s Jared Attenborough drove long for the answering score but Troy Ferguson of Nyora saved it on the line.
The teams looked evenly matched at this stage but it was Attenborough who drove the Pies into attack again, linking up with an unsighted player before Tim Hancock capped it off with a goal.
Poowong’s Josh Chiavaroli was under siege and Jess Curtain was good in defence but finally Nyora’s big forward wheeled around and popped through his second.
Nyora’s ruckman Nick Fairbank and Chris Hodges combined well to get the next centre break but Poowong’s Jason Hibbs and a very busy Tommy Wyatt stopped their run.
Finally Poowong got it up their end where a great shot from the angle produced a goal for Poowong through Simon Gardiner.
A good quarter of footy finished with Poowong’s Jared Attenborough wrapped up in a strong tackle but the Pies still held the ascendency at the long break.
Poowong got the second half and their victory march off on the right foot when Tim Hancock got the ball over to Clinton Rowe who ran on and kicked a nice goal to start third quarter.
The wind had freshened to the netball courts end after a few showers making Poowong’s 26-point lead look bigger and also making the play more of a scramble than it had been.
Tom Wyatt absolutely revelled in the conditions though and his superior fitness, earned on the track at Casey, really came to the fore the further the match went.
Ben White booted long to Wyatt for a goal but the never-say-die Saints responded with one of their own through Joel Anderson.
It was from here on that Nyora started to peg pack the leaders; Jordan Anderson, Tim Burns, Chris Hodges, the ruckman Nick Fairbank and Matt Layton all in the action.
Right before three quarter time the feeling between the sides spilled over into a push and shove affair after a heavy tackle – it was game on!
A shot by Jordan Anderson after the siren didn’t make the distance into the wind and Nyora trailed by four goals at the last change.
Lachie Green and Nyora’s Chris Hodges were having a ding-dong battle on the ball and the likes of Jared Attenborough and Clint Rowe for Poowong were being well matched by Nick Fairbank, Nick Carrigy and others at the stoppages.
A great build-up by Nyora featuring good disposal between Murtagh, Carrigy, Dylan Heylen, Adam Burns, Brady Nicholls and Joel Anderson deserved better than a point and it was sometime before Hodges could get the goal they needed to ignite the fight-back – Nyora trailing by just 13 points and seemingly with the momentum.
Matt Cozzio applied a great tackle in the danger zone and Tom Wyatt got back to help clear another promising Nyora attack as Poowong worked hard to keep them at bay.
It was Wyatt up the other end who roved the pack at speed to kick a point that might have iced the game but Nyora’s Clark led up strongly after a Poowong defensive error for a goal and the Saints were right back in it, seven points down.
It was then Poowong’s turn to attack and Nyora’s to be desperate in defence. Wyatt kicked another point to stretch the lead to eight points but in a thrilling passage of play, a Poowong player attacked the ball on the stadium-side wing and got it across to Jason Hobbs who kicked the sealer with only a few minutes to go.
Poowong was into attack for another point but time was running out for another Nyora revival.
Final scores: Poowong 7.10.52 def Nyora 6.1.37.