Toora demonstrated substantial improvement on Saturday against Hill End. Photos: Lyn Fairbank/Hill End Football Netball Club Photos Facebook page.

WHILE Hill End entered its contest with Toora as an unbackable favourite, with the unbeaten Rovers taking on a winless opponent, Toora made the fancied side work for its five-goal victory.

Hill End was always going to win, but how they won and how Toora lost would tell you a little more about each.

Despite difficult weather for scoring, the margin was far less than most would have predicted.

“The conditions were pretty tough for both teams and it became an old school game of footy, but Hill End made more of its opportunities than we did,” Toora coach Matt Ponton said.

However, he was satisfied that his charges gave their all and “left nothing on the ground”.

Hill End coach Mike Santo gave credit to the opposition for making it a challenging day.

“It was a hard-fought win in testing conditions and Matt has Toora playing a tough brand of footy,” Santo said.

He highlighted where his side was able to gain the ascendancy.

“We were very good around the stoppages and had our way in the ruck with Ambu and Kerrigan getting first use of the ball and that created a lot of opportunities for us,” Santo said.

The winning coach also heaped praise on his backline for repelling many opposition attacks, particularly noting the defensive efforts of Robby Fiddelaers, whom Santo described as “the most underrated player in the league”. While the four points were beyond Toora’s reach, the side earned the respect of those at the ground and demonstrated substantial improvement.