WHILE the aura of invincibility surrounding Cranbourne might be cracked, not shattered, Tooradin-Dalmore did the Casey Cardinia League a big favour on Saturday.
They did what no team other than Narre Warren has been able to do in recent seasons — they didn’t lose to the Eagles.
Seagulls defender Sam Watson restricted boom full forward Marc Holt to four goals and their midfield at least broke even with their star-studded Eagles’ counterparts.
But it still wasn’t enough and the match finished in a thrilling draw. Holt kicked two points late in the game to tie the scores up 13.16 (94) to the Seagulls 14.10 (94).
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Seagulls coach Tom Hallinan said he was proud of the performance but rued a lack of composure in the final minutes that cost his team what would have been a famous victory over Cranbourne.
“Cranbourne have only been beaten by one team in the past three years,” he said.
“There have been nine other teams that have lost to Cranbourne . . . I can’t fault the players but I don’t know if it was the one that got away?
“Maybe a lack of experience cost us. We should have closed it out but went with a couple of short kicks instead of long ones.”
To compound the heartbreak for the Seagulls, star midfielder Beau Miller suffered a broken ankle in the second term and is set for an extended stint on the sidelines.
This meant more pressure was heaped on Matthew Wade and Brett Scarcella through the midfield and the pair responded as they guided the Seagulls to a eight-point half-time lead after trailing by 43 points at the first change.
Small forward Ryan Eaton was another catalyst for the revival, with four of his six goals coming in the second term to be clearly the most dangerous forward on the park.
“They obviously got out to a bolter and used the breeze to their advantage,” Hallinan said.
“By the last term the breeze wasn’t there and like all good teams they rallied and hit the front.”
For Cranbourne, Ryan Davey was typically hard working while Justin Bollenhagen and Stuart Morrish also battled valiantly.
Doveton recorded a tough 38-point win over Pakenham at AJ Robinson Oval on Saturday with Shannon Stocco booting six majors.
Aaron Henwood was dominant for Doveton while Michael Laszczyk, Ryan Morrison and Michael Henry were all solid contributors.
Pakenham’s best were Michael Taurua and coach Steve O’Bryan.
Berwick recorded a 77-point hammering of Keysborough to extend the Chris Bryan-coached outfit’s misery. Jordan Andrews booted four majors for the Wickers while Lloyd Shepherd and Madison Andrews were brilliant.
Narre Warren flexed its muscle to account for ROC by 84 points with Kerem Baskaya booting seven goals. Beaconsfield smashed Hampton Park by 131 points with Jake Cameron booting six majors.
Line ball: Tooradin-Dalmore assistant coach Matthew Wade throws a boot at the ball while Cranbourne’s Ray George prepares to launch himself. Picture: Wayne Hawkins