The Calder Cannons sit just percentage outside the top four on the NAB League ladder after holding off the Bendigo Pioneers by 20 points on Sunday.
Both teams lapped up a rare winter’s day with hardly a cloud in sight for the Round 14 contest played at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
After a goal-for-goal opening quarter Calder enjoyed what proved to be a match-winning 15-minute purple patch when it booted the opening four goals of the second term.
Jake Sutton’s third major in the last quarter drew the margin out to an unassailable 37 points.
And while the home side booted the final three goals of the contest, the Cannons did enough to earn their eighth win of the season – and fifth in six matches.
“It was a pretty frustrating game where we were quite inconsistent across the four quarters,” Football Operations and Admin Coordinator Matthew Burton said.
“We played patches of the brand of football that we expect from the boys and we also had some really poor lapses of concentration and effort.
“Credit to Bendigo who kept coming at us and applied pressure all day, really making us work for it.
“Five wins in six matches is a credit to the boys that they’ve been able to find ways to win on a regular basis.”
Midfielder Harrison Minton-Connell led the field with 34 disposals and two goals, while Sam Ramsay (28 and one) and Ned Gentile (18 and five tackles) were strong support acts on-ball.
Jake Sutton was an imposing target in the front half and posed several headaches for the Pioneers defence, finishing the game with three goals, 18 possessions, four marks and seven inside 50s.
Half-back Curtis Brown and tall utility Campbell Edwardes – who showed continued improvement playing up the ground – were also named in the best players.
“Some of our consistent players once again were standouts for us in Ramsay, Minton-Connell and Gentile who all again were brilliant,” Burton said.
“Cody brand is a bit of an unsung hero as a 17-year-old down back, he is rarely beaten and one on one he’s terrific.
“Jake Sutton’s last two games have been outstanding. We’ve been wrapped with Jake.
“It was also exciting to see Harrison Andronaco in his first game do some really nice things as a small forward, we were wrapped with how he went.”
The Cannons will look to make it four in a row when they travel to Ballarat to take on the GWV Rebels in Round 15.
But the Rebels are coming off a morale-boosting 35-point win over the Geelong Falcons, boding as a great opportunity and another challenge that Burton says the side is looking forward to.
“We get to go to Ballarat which is a pretty underrated venue, the ground is always in extremely good nick and the facilities are second to none,” he said.
“They’re coming off a really good win and have got their Vic Country boys back. They’re a side that we cannot take lightly.
“We need to iron out our deficiencies in the next month before we get to the real pointy end of the season,” Burton added.
“We can’t afford to have lapses like we did (against Bendigo) or the better sides at the back end of the year will take full advantage of them.
“This week is a game that will provide some real opportunity for boys to stake their claim with some PEGS and Assumption boys unavailable due to AGS finals and we wish them all the best.”