TONGALA was celebrating its first Murray League win for the season on Saturday night after prevailing by nine points in a dour struggle with another of the league battlers, Congupna, at Tongala.
The young Blues dug deep in the last quarter at Tongala to notch the victory against a side that came to play after a drought breaking win the previous Saturday.
‘‘We never gave up and we took risks in that last quarter; it was a credit to the players how much they wanted it,’’ jubilant coach Travis Edwards said after the game.
Edwards paid special tributes to junior star Bailey Waasdorp and Mark Watson.
He said Waasdorp was inspirational all day in the midfield.
‘‘He’s still a bottom age player at TAC level with the Bendigo Pioneers and a real prospect to go further with his footy.’’
Edwards said Watson was also a game turner in the last quarter with his attacking running game on the wing.
He also paid tribute to Jack Monigatti who dominated the ruck again.
‘‘He’s been good for us in every game,’’ said Edwards.
Alex Williams whose run out of defence often had the rival defence under pressure was also in for some praise from Edwards along with key forward Sam Colvin who took strong marks and kicked vital goals at telling times in the game.
The Blues have suffered setbacks with long term injuries to Blake Mullholland, Daniel Gentle and Tom Kneebone.
‘‘They are all out for quite some time and we will be looking to give them every encouragement in their rehabilitation process. They are still very much part of this club,’’ said Edwards.
While Edwards concedes the Blues still have a long way to go to challenge the best sides in the competition, he is confident the club is on the rise and not a fall.
‘‘If we can keep working at it we can keep improving,’’ he said.
Congupna got an early break in the game but at half-time it was level pegging and at the last chance Congupna had its nose in front by two points.
But Tongala kicked four last quarter goals to Congupna’s two to secure the well deserved victory.
Tongala reserves also notched a good win, getting home by 53 points after leading from start to finish.
Luke McCann with four goals and Logan Church with three were active in Tongala’s forward line while Tim Densley, Adam Nunn, Tennyson Tinning and Lachy Hipwell were in the thick of things for most of the game for the winners.
Tongala’s Under 17s put up a good struggle in a low scoring affair, going down by 25 points.
Jackson Hicks, Tom Harris, James Watson and Elijah Gillie held their own for the Blues with support from Dan Foley and Declan Campbell.
Tongala Under 14s had a big day out, outclassing their rivals by 105 points in a dominant display.
Harley Reid with five goals and McKenzie Cowley with four finished off the good work of Rylie Matthews, Mitch Heywood, Jackson King, Kade Northausen, Jackson King and Lachy Scown.