Tarneit did more than just consolidate its spot in the Western Region Football League division 3 top four with a brutal 74-point win over Braybrook at Wootten Road Reserve on Saturday.
The Titans offered a timely reminder that they are still a force to be reckoned with and should not be discounted from the premiership chatter.
Titans football manager Darren Connelly reckons some people have drawn a line through his side, but warns they are doing so at their own peril.
“I know other clubs have written us off and are thinking we’ve played our good football early, but we’re coming and today was proof of that,” he said.
“I know people are saying we’ve dropped some games, but with our best team on the park, we’ll be alright.
“We’ve got four to five weeks to come back before finals.”
With Tarneit just half a game ahead of Braybrook before the ball was bounced, there was plenty on the line for both sides.
The most pleasing aspect for the Titans was not just their ability to win with a handful of their starters missing, but power to line.
It was validation of both the depth of the Titans list and the fitness of the players.
“It was good to be able to come home with a wet sail,” Connelly said.
Tarneit’s leaders pointed the way.
Captain and utility Adam Miriklas took charge where coach Mark Elso played him.
“We use him wherever we can,” Connelly said.
“He might play half forward flank, he might play defence, he’ll play onball, he’s our switch hitter.”
Tarneit’s former captain Todd Lawrie produced a game worthy of a captain’s tag.
Not only did Lawrie dominate at the coalface, he moved forward to kick three goals.
Connelly describes Lawrie as “the complete footballer”.
“He’s in and under, he runs all day, he gets it out on his own and he’s a bloody beautiful kick,” he said.
“He’s a quality bloke and a quality player.
“He only stood down [from the captaincy] to give a young bloke in Adam Miriklas an opportunity to lead the side.”
Nathan Schmidt was dominant in the ruck for Tarneit, while a trio of recruits from Manor Lakes, Ty Priest, Mitchell and Rowan Davis, played big parts.
Connelly lauded the “across the board” effort of the Titans players.
Tarneit will travel to Laverton in the 15th round on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in a huge division 3 upset, Wyndham Suns thrashed ladder leader Glen Orden by 45 points at Goddard Street Reserve.
In division 1, Hoppers Crossing finally broke into the top five for the first time since round nine. The Warriors did so in style with a 93-point thrashing of Point Cook at Hogans Road Reserve.
Brenton Payne put on a show for the Warriors with six goals.
Werribee Districts’ double chance prospects suffered a blow with a 32-point loss to Deer Park at John McLeod Oval.
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