Greensborough won its seventh match in a row to further bolster its finals bid, recording a comfortable 22-point victory over Heidelberg in Round 12.
The Boro slotted the first five goals and never looked like surrendering the lead, winning every quarter to run away 10.11 (71) to 7.7 (49) victors at War Memorial Park.
The result, combined with Montmorency’s loss, helped the Boro move two games clear in fifth position on the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 ladder with six rounds remaining.
Sitting in sixth-place with a 5-8 record, reigning premier Heidelberg may well have to win all of its remaining five games to play finals football.
Jamie Craker and Nick Riddle were among the best for the Boro, playing key roles in the ruck and defence respectively. Ricky Mullins and Andrew Stellas were also influential, nullifying the influence of Michael Brunelli and Charles Gaylard.
Rhys Boyden and Mullins were the only multiple goal scorers for the home side, each slotting two majors, while a host of others slotted singles.
Sam Grimley was a shining light for Heidelberg up forward, although inaccuracy meant he was only able to kick three majors. Tom Sullivan and Lachlan Wilson both fought gallantly for the away side.
Greensborough coach Robert Hyde said his midfield group learnt from their previous mistakes out on the field.
“Last week against Macleod we were really lucky to win. We got belted in the midfield and our focus was too defensive on Hobbs and Corr and those blokes,” Hyde said
“This week we said you’ve got to do your job and set up but you’ve got to attack the ball, you’ve got to try and win the stoppage rather than stop them from winning it.”
Greensborough got off to the perfect start with Boyden slotting his first within five minutes, before Josh Riddle converted midway through the first term to give the home side an 11-point lead at the first break.
The start of the second quarter was a replica of the first, with Boyden kicking truly early. Josh Grubb and Ricky then kicked two goals in as many minutes to put the Boro ahead by five goals midway through the term.
Heidelberg was able finally snag its first through Will Goss, before Chaz Sargeant added another, but the Tigers still had a big mountain to climb in the second half.
Mullins kicked his second goal early in the third term before Grimley made his presence known with two majors, one after a clever one-handed mark.
But Greensborough snuffed out any chance of Tigers comeback, kicking the next four goals, including one to first-gamer and 23rd man Keegan Lyne.
Heidelberg kicked two late consolation goals through Grimley and Paul Bower, however it wouldn’t be enough to catch the Boro.
Robert Hyde had the luxury of switching his side up in the last term, including throwing Dan McLinden into the forward line, where he kicked a goal. Hyde was impressed with his players’ ability to adjust to different positions around the ground.
“I praise them for that because sometimes your throw people around and they complain but these guys are really willing to adapt.”
In his final game as coach for 2017 before handing the reins to Mick Harford, Hyde was happy with the position he has left the club ahead of an overseas trip.
“My job’s done now before going away, to stay in Division 1, and to develop these kids and who knows, maybe we will play finals now.”
Final score: Greensborough 10.11 (71) def Heidelberg 7.7 (49)