Tatura banked an important four points at the weekend with a hard-fought 13-point win against a never-say-die Mansfield.
Bulldogs coach Jamason Daniels said he was proud of forwards Brandyn Grenfell and Matt Ryan, who kicked two vital goals each in the last quarter.
‘‘Ahead of the game we spoke about how important this game was for our entire season,’’ Daniels said.
‘‘To go away and get a win away from home against a side also fighting for the top six was really important.’’
Mansfield looked the better team for the majority of the first half, but Tatura’s stars lifted in the last to give them the win.
‘‘When you’ve got guys like Grenfell and Ryan who can stand up and deliver when it’s needed most, it shows a bit about their character,’’ Daniels said.
‘‘It wasn’t the prettiest game of footy. We were up against it but grinded it out.’’
After starring in the midfield with five goals the previous week, Brett Mahoney was completely shut out of the game by Jaydan Thewma, who was Tatura’s best.
‘‘Jaydan tagged Brett (Mahoney), a role that he’s never done before,’’ Daniels said.
‘‘Brett is probably one of, if not the best midfielder in the competition and Jaydan went to him all day and kept him to 16 disposals.
‘‘He sacrificed his role for the team and also got a fair bit of the ball himself.’’
Mansfield coach Cameron Hotton’s charges could not get it done in James Herridge’s 200th game for the club, which he said was disappointing.
‘‘We were kicking into a breeze in the first quarter, but completely outplayed them and didn’t capitalise,’’ Hotton said.
‘‘Our tackling intensity and pressure was really good and then it became a bit of an arm wrestle.’’
Hotton said he thought his team was a chance to snatch the win after being only three points down midway through the last quarter.
‘‘Grenfell took a few strong marks up forward which broke our spirits and we didn’t have the run in the end,’’ he said.
‘‘Grenfell is a big man and they don’t get any smaller as the day progresses.’’
Ryan Bartlett impressed, containing Ryan for most of the day, while the Eagles’ entire back six was solid.
For Tatura, Linc Wellington performed strongly throughout the day and was a pillar in defence.
‘‘It’s unbelievable to think he’s doing what he’s doing,’’ Daniels said.
‘‘We’ve got to sit back and appreciate someone like Linc because once he’s finished he’s going to be a GVFL Hall of Famer.’’
Daniels said although his team was not playing its best footy, it gave him confidence that it found a way to win.
‘‘We did grind away but we’ve still got a lot of areas for improvement,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re probably not playing our best footy at the moment, but we found a way to win. That’s what happens when you bring the right mindset.’’
Hotton paid tribute to Herridge after the loss, calling him a fantastic servant of the club.
‘‘When he came in 2006 he was a skinny little winger who now, 12 years on, plays at a high standard,’’ he said.