While the top two division of the Western Region Football League took a break over the interleague weekend, division three had a top-of-the-table clash between Tarneit and Parkside that delivered a thriller.
In a classic game of two halves, Parkside was kept scoreless after half-time yet managed to come away with a 13-point win to take top spot on the ladder as the only unbeaten side after five rounds.
The 9.10 (64) to 7.9 (51) scoreline only told part of the story, and Parkside coach Nick Condos was still scratching his head over what unfolded.
“The first half was really good, and we knew they would come back at us, but it’s lucky we did enough in that first half to get the win,” Condos said.
“We were able to get it inside 50 but unfortunately weren’t able to convert, which is something to keep working on.”
It was all going to plan early on for Parkside, with key forward Jason Cloke (three goals) providing a strong target up forward and the defenders locking down on their opponents to keep the home side to just one goal in the first term.
By the first break the Magpies had stretched out to a 30-9 lead, and they more than doubled that in the second quarter as they threatened to rout the Titans.
Going into the long break with a 64-10 advantage had many in the crowd thinking it was game over, but the Titans had other ideas as they turned the game on its head in the third quarter.
Not only did they keep the visitors scoreless but they kicked four goals of their own to close the gap to 29 points at the final change.
However, the poor start eventually caught up with the home side, and despite keeping Parkside scoreless again they could muster just 2.4 for the term as they suffered their first loss of the season.
Condos said there was plenty to be proud of with the win, but the second half showed they were far from the finished product at this stage of the season.
“Our back line was really good, especially in the first half to keep them to just 10 points, so that’s pleasing,” he said.
“The game was won and lost in the middle and we had the best of that in the first half, but you’re always worried when the opposition is coming at you late.
“To the boys credit they stuck to the task when things weren’t going our way in the second half and were able to grind it out, which you have to do sometimes.”
Parkside will host Sanctuary Lakes this weekend, while Tarneit will travel to play the Wyndham Suns.