Sport

Wonderful wizard of Foz

By Tyler Maher

At the 17-minute mark of the final term on Saturday, Nick Fothergill snapped from 30m out directly in front and could only register a behind, leaving Tatura two points in arrears with only minutes remaining in the contest.

When the Bulldogs superstar received another opportunity on goal from an identical position about five minutes later, he was never going to miss a second time.

After a furious final few moments, Fothergill’s third major of the day — and second of the last stanza — was a dagger in Euroa hearts as the Magpies fell four points short in the Goulburn Valley League fixture.

‘‘The good players put themselves in those positions, which is a real credit to them,’’ Tatura coach Jamason Daniels said.

‘‘Foz to his credit got to the right spots at right times, he was probably a little bit quieter today, but that’s what good players do, when the game’s there to be won, they step up.’’

Between Fothergill’s miss — which came after an Adam Giobbi bomb gave Euroa the lead — and his decisive snap, both sides had chances to snare the game for themselves.

James Sullivan charged onto a loose ball for the Bulldogs close to goal, but his kick clipped the back of the post, while the Magpies had a desperate shot on the run from the boundary in the final minute, but could only register a minor score.

In the end though it was the Tatura faithful who were able to join in with their team’s song after the game as Fothergill, Jordan O’Dwyer, Daniels and Sean Martin all stood up to drag their undermanned side to victory.

‘‘We just didn’t get going all day,’’ Daniels said.

‘‘We had a lot of late changes, I think there was a sniper out here on Thursday night shooting us down. We didn’t play anywhere near what we would like, but to our credit we dug deep and grinded out a win. Good sides find a way to win and today we found a way to win.

‘‘On Thursday night in last 20 minutes of training Andy Civa (Andrew Ciavarella) popped a quad, Jaydan Thewma did his hammy in the last 30 seconds, Che Walls did his groin and then I got a text at about 7.30 that Matt Shannon had (suffered a) concussion at Box Hill training and wouldn’t be available.

‘‘That’s four top liners within the space of 15 to 20 minutes and I was just staring at the board wondering what we were going to do.

‘‘It wasn’t ideal, but just goes to show we’ve got the depth there.

‘‘(Euroa) are a lot better than what their record suggests and they showed that today, but to our credit we found a way.’’

The injuries opened the door for Tatura under-18 captain Matt Rennie to debut and the young talent held his head, complete with a long flowing mullet, high.

‘‘It was probably pretty unexpected for him, I caught up with him before training — our under-18s are struggling a bit for numbers and it’s always the way down there — and said keep your head up and across the course of the year if a spot opens up, there might be an opportunity for him to debut over the next four to eight weeks,’’ Daniels said.

‘‘By the end of training I went and gave him the tap on the shoulder and said ‘how about this week?’.

‘‘He was a bit shocked and probably a bit nervous, but he’s got a lot of potential and we keep bringing these kids through and a credit to him that he came out and did a job for us.’’

Giobbi finished with three goals for the Magpies and along with Andrew Bell and debutants Lachie Hill and Bryce Frost stood out for the visitors.

JD Hayes was also great early in the contest, but O’Dwyer was able to curtail his influence after the main break.