Leeton-Whitton took a giant step towards playing finals by recording a 27-point win over Turvey Park on Saturday.
The fifth-placed Crows put some breathing space between them and the sixth-placed Bulldogs with an important victory, 13.9 (87) to 9.6 (60) at Leeton Showground.
Coach-in-waiting Daniel Muir bagged six goals in the win, while experienced midfielders Matt Rainbird and Bryce O’Garey played instrumental roles.
Sidelined Leeton-Whitton coach Jade Hodge was proud of his team for standing tall.
“We got over the line in the end but we had no bench for the last quarter,” Hodge said.
“It was a good, hard-fought win. It was probably the most physical game we’ve had all year and apart from the second quarter, which I was pretty disappointed with, we had three good quarters and I was happy with the win.”
Tom Van Buuren sustained a suspected broken collarbone and Nathan Jones (concussion) were the two major injuries for the Crows.
Hodge loved the way his young group handled the test from the Bulldogs.
“It was the most physical game we’ve had this year and the young boys, they stepped up and didn’t shirk it, if anything they embraced it,” Hodge said.
“If we’re going to be playing finals, we need to play that sort of footy and we did, which is good.”
Clint Shields kicked four goals for Turvey Park, while Josh Ashcroft, Brad Ashcroft and Jeremy Sykes played good games.
Leeton-Whitton started strongly with a six-goal opening term to put the Bulldogs on the back foot. The visitors back within a goal at half-time, only for the Crows to kick four unanswered goals in the third term.
Turvey Park’s Bryce McPherson was yellow carded and reported for striking during the loss.