Mansfield kept its slim finals aspirations alive with a 26-point win against Mooroopna on Saturday.
Cameron Hotton’s side had to overcome a 15-point deficit to claim the vital victory as the Eagles’ experience stood tall in the vital moments.
Collingwood VFL player Nick Gray was clinical for the Eagles, while Brett Mahoney and Jamie Sheahan (three goals) also impressed.
Cats forward Romain Grenville bagged six goals in his breakout Goulburn Valley League performance, but it was not enough as the Eagles earned their third win of the year.
‘‘It was good to get the win, we aim to be the best we can this season and we would rather be at three and eight then at two and nine,’’ Hotton said.
‘‘We just have to keep performing, continue to play the way we want to play and hope we put a few more wins together if we aim to play finals.’’
In a tight affair, Hotton singled out his side’s ability to run and carry that proved the real difference in the second half.
‘‘It was an even performance and I don’t think we really had too many passengers in the end,’’ Hotton said.
‘‘Once we were able to spread, run and carry the ball we were then able to play our game, which I think got us the four points.’’
Ben Fagan kicked all three of his goals in the second half for the Eagles, while Sheahan did all his damage in the first two quarters.
Gray was an ever present figure in the midfield, but Hotton said he was not as influential as usual.
‘‘He was good, don’t get me wrong, but I think he was better last week,’’ Hotton said.
‘‘Maybe that is because the contribution was a lot more even this week with our ability to spread and move the ball across the ground.’’
Grenville was undoubtedly the Cats’ best performer, while Jordan Brereton and Rhys McKenzie were also prominent.
Mooroopna 4.1, 6.1, 10.3, 11.6 (72)
Mansfield 2.5, 7.8, 11.11, 14.14 (98)
Mooroopna: Romain Grenville, Jordan Bereton, Rhys McKenzie, Bayden Fallon, Jonathan Odgers, Ajak Dang.
Mansfield: Nick Gray, Luke Walsh, Ben Fagan, Brett Mahoney, Adam Boshevski, Jamie Sheahan.
Mooroopna: Romain Grenville 6, Bayden Fallon 2, Dylan Cornick, Clint Riley, Dale Osborne.
Mansfield: Ben Fagan, Jamie Sheahan 3, Scott Markwick 2, Adam Boshevski, Ryan Bartlett, Nick Gray, Tom German, Jack Egan, Brett Mahoney.