Benalla’s Tom Rockliff was recalled to the senior side for the Adelaide Showdown, playing a vital role in Port Adelaide’s last-gasp victory.
While it was Steven Motlop who made the move from Geelong that scored the winning goal, it was Rockliff’s best game since transferring from Brisbane.
The midfielder racked up a match-high 31 disposals including nine tackles with coach Ken Hinkley impressed with Rockliff’s intent.
‘‘Rockliff was outstanding, he was enormous and that’s why we brought him to the club,’’ Hinkley said.
Echuca’s Ollie Wines was also pivotal in the match with 26 touches, while Katamatite’s Tom Clurey was solid.
Cobram’s Esava Ratugolea clinched the sealer in Geelong’s contest with Collingwood.
The forward/ruck kicked his sole major of the match midway through the fourth term which staved off a hungry Pies outfit that went down by 21 points.
Tallygaroopna’s Steele Sidebottom influenced another match with 30 disposals that was topped only by teammates Adam Treloar and Jack Crisp as well as Geelong star Gary Ablett.
While North Melbourne’s Ben Cunnington and Richmond captain Trent Cotchin clung on to the Sherrin more than most on Sunday, there was still room for some Goulburn Valley products to get a touch.
In the Kangaroos’ gallant showing against the reigning premiers Mooroopna’s Jy Simpkin snagged a goal as part of his 18 possessions, while Rochester’s Shaun Atley and Benalla’s Jarrad Waite put through two majors each.
Melbourne is building and Mooroopna’s Clayton Oliver is a major part of Simon Goodwin’s plans with the gun again sensational as he racked up 15 contested possessions as a part of his 29 overall.