Tatura outlasted Shepparton United in an epic Goulburn Valley League contest on Saturday.
While both teams are out of finals contention, the match was keenly fought as the Dogs hung on for a five-point victory at Tatura Park.
Jamason Daniels’ side led by 15 points at the final change, but Tatura’s coach had some nervous moments in the final quarter as United came home with a strong breeze.
‘‘It was about a four-goal breeze, so I was a little bit worried, but the guys really stood up and toughed it out in the last quarter,’’ Daniels said.
‘‘We’ve fallen short in close games this season, but I was proud of how they responded to the challenge and we had some players rise.’’
The Dogs have been one of the hard luck stories of the season, losing 10 straight games at one stage, with nearly all of them winnable at certain stages.
But to finally deliver in a tight encounter gave Tatura its fourth win, opening up a game gap on the Demons.
‘‘Those mental demons could’ve come in, but it’s a great reward for everyone working hard to hang on and get the win,’’ Daniels said.
Veteran ruckman Paul Kirby keeps on getting it done, working well up against United’s twin towers Shane Neaves and Luke Lowden.
Brad Ryan had the job on the Demons’ big men when they swapped into their forward line.
Che Walls responded from a poor game against Seymour a week earlier to produce a best-on-ground display for the Dogs.
James Wall, Mitch Elliott, Andrew Ciavarella and Rian McGough worked hard all day in the midfield.
Jared McMahon made his senior debut after coming to Tatura from Kyabram this year after missing out on a place in the Bombers’ reserves side for last year’s finals series.
United coach Peter Sheehan said he could not fault the effort from his players.
‘‘It was a really good game, but they (Tatura) probably just won more of those crucial contests,’’ Sheehan said.
‘‘They took their chances and we didn’t, but there were some pleasing things to take out of the game.’’
Daniel Bowles was United’s best with an assured performance off half-back, while Harley Middleton had one his best games for the Demons.
Jye Chalcraft, Reid Crowe and Harrison Osborn all stood out for United.
The game was also the 400th match for Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association goal umpire Howard Phillips.