Power forward Dom O’Connor gets his handball away.

WONTHAGGI Power fought off a defiant Bairnsdale and come home with a crucial win.
The Power needed the four points to keep their hopes of playing finals alive and travelling all the way to Bairnsdale seemed to have added some fire in the belly for the senior group.
Upon arrival it was noted by the players that the Bairnsdale Recreation Reserve was similar to a dust bowl, nowhere near the standard of lush green grass of the Power’s home deck.
Although they were slow out of the blocks, the Power looked dangerous when using the ball with their well-documented pace burning through the midfield to surge the ball forward.
However it was the Redlegs that took the early lead on the scoreboard, up by a straight goal at the first change.
But the Power came to life in the second quarter booting five unanswered goals in a great display of team football.
Aiden Lindsay as usual led the way through the midfield and around the stoppages, collecting plenty of hard contested ball.
Small forward Lachie Jones also had a day out booting four spectacular goals and delivering on crucial plays throughout the day.
At the main change the Power had their tails up leading by 24 points.
The home side came out swinging in the third quarter and put the pressure right on the Power managing to hit the scoreboard regularly.
Goals to Somerville and Park lifted the Redlegs to bring the margin back within two goals at the final break.
Given the Power’s recent track record in close games, there were concerns that they would let this one slip through their fingers.
But the Power’s defence held together thanks to Jarrod Membrey, Shannon Bray and Byron Dryden to make sure they were never out of the contest.
Membrey especially in a best on ground performance was a key figure across half back setting up play and defending when called upon.
Two decisive late tackles to Lachie Jones helped the Power maintain momentum and a late goal to Jack Ridewood saw the Power run out the game 10 point victors.
Wonthaggi now sit just two points out of the top five as every game becomes more crucial in the chase for finals.
The Power will now host second placed Maffra this weekend no doubt hoping to cause an upset.

Full football coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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