Diggers Rest bounced back from its trouncing from Rupertswood last week in spectacular fashion, delivering Macedon its first defeat of the season on Saturday.
After serving up its worst performance of the season last week, Diggers Rest was up for the fight against the Riddell District Football League ladder leaders from the opening bounce, overcoming a raft of injuries to run over the top of their opponents, 13.8 (86)-10.6 (66).
The Burras home win was all the more meritorious as they ended the day with just one fit player on the bench, and came from behind in the fourth quarter to kick the final four goals of the game and clinch the points.
Burras coach Shaun Sims said it was one of the best wins he had been a part of.
“I’m very proud of the way we played, sticking it out for four quarters and getting the win,” Sims said.
“They’re a quality outfit Macedon, they’re not undefeated for a reason, but I thought the pressure and intensity that we brought around the ball was in stark contrast to last week.
“We’re a proud club, and we were outworked last week, but I had full faith that we would respond and I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of the group as I was today.”
It was a battle of attrition all day for both sides, with goals hard to come by as the pressure around the ball made space hard to find.
The Burras held a slender three-point lead at the first change, but were 10 points behind at half-time as Macedon flexed its muscle and started to win the clearances.
Goals were again hard to come by in the third, and every time Diggers Rest clawed closer to Macedon the visitors were able to hit back to restore the buffer.
By early in the final quarter the home side was down to just one man on the bench, with Jack Wilson (broken nose), Pat Jackson (concussion) and Josh Wallace (ankle) all ruled out of the game, and when Macedon goaled twice early in the last to stretch to a 15-point lead it looked like they might run over the top of the home side.
But from halfway through the last quarter it was all Diggers, with some big marks and goals inside 50 to Taylor Hine and Nathan Maisano giving the side the momentum and the rest of the side finding some run in the legs to finish stronger than the Cats.
Frustrations boiled over late for Macedon’s Alastair Collins as he was yellow carded for his part in a scuffle when the result was sealed.
The win keeps Diggers Rest in third place, two games clear of Sunbury Kangaroos.
“We said before the game that it was going to be tight, and it might take four or five contests to move the ball forward, and to our guys’ credit they did that all day,” Sims said.
“That was a finals-intensity game, and a few of the chase-down tackles and the pressure from us in the last quarter is what we need to bring every week.
“We’ll get some guys back in the next month and start settling the side down for finals but, as far as we’re concerned, the season is just starting.”