MANGOPLAH-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes sealed the Riverina League minor premiership with a three-goal win over Griffith on Saturday.
The Goannas were forced to overcome a half-time deficit as they produced a strong second half to grab the four points, 12.16 (88) to 11.4 (70) at Exies Oval.
MCUE now only need to beat Turvey Park next Saturday to win their second consecutive Riverina League minor premiership.
MCUE co-coach Chris Daniher knew the Griffith win was vital for their minor premiership chances.
“That’s a relief,” Daniher said to know top spot is theirs, barring a surprise loss next week.
“Going into the final round, I would like to be playing a bit better than what we’re doing but any win in Griffith I think is a good win.
“I think we have to factor that in.
“It’s hard to judge a bit but we still have to tweak a few things.
“We know what we need to do, we just need to do it better.”
A five-goal second quarter put Griffith in front by two goals at half-time.
The Goannas then kicked five goals to two in the third term to set up a handy two-goal lead, and were able to hold the Swans off in the final term.
Daniher said the win did not come easy.
“It was game on at three-quarter-time, there was no doubt about it,” he said.
“It was a huge game for us and that’s what was a little bit disappointing, they were up and about more than us.
“In a nutshell, we’ve got to be better.”
Harry Collins continued his outstanding season with a best-on-ground performance for MCUE.
He was well supported by Stace Creasy in the middle, while Tom Keogh, Dusty Rogers and Matt Collins also shone.
Collins kicked three goals up forward, and then switched to defence in the final term.
Will Griggs and Ben King were the pick of the Swans players, while Henry Delves made his mark up forward with a five-goal haul.
Daniher said there is still plenty to work on for MCUE, heading into the Turvey Park game before finals.
“It was one of those ugly (wins) again,” he said.
“The boys worked pretty hard in the last quarter and got over the line.
“Griffith were really good.”
While it was tight, MCUE made hard work of the win with inaccurate kicking.
The Goannas had 28 scoring shots to Griffith’s 15.
Griffith finish with Wagga Tigers at Robertson Oval next week.
4.5 5.7 10.13 12.16
3.0 8.1 10.1 11.4
Goals: (MCUE) M Collins 3, A Dickins 2, J Cornell 2, A Pettigrove, D Rogers, C Sanbrook, J Whitley, H Collins; (Griffith) H Delves 5, S Daniel 2, W Griggs, B King, D Crack, J Gastin.
Best: (MCUE) H Collins, T Keogh, S Creasy, J Whitley, A Pettigrove, M Collins; (Griffith) W Griggs, J Toscan, B King, S Daniel, K Hume, R Malone.
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