CRESWICK has broken into the Central Highlands Football League top eight for the first time this season.
It was a runaway 50-point victory over Gordon on Saturday that lifted the Wickers from 12th to eighth on the ladder ahead of a winnable home clash with Dunnstown this weekend.
It took the visiting Creswick team until the second term to really stamp its dominance on the match, turning around a wasteful start to convert seven goals and open up an 18-point lead at half-time.
And a couple of off-the-ball incidents — one that saw Eagle Luke Gunnell and Wicker Clint Robinson yellow carded — gave the match some real feeling heading into the main break.
It was Gordon that came out of half time firing, with Daniel James kicking truly inside the opening couple of minutes to trim the margin to 12 points.
The Eagles took until the 18-minute mark to secure their second goal of the term, before a piece of Mick Lockyer magic from the pocket gave the Wickers a 17-point buffer at the final change.
Mick Nolan brought life into the home crowd when his snap closed the margin early in the last quarter, before Brad Hallam’s attempt was ruled touched and not credited as the goal that would have closed the margin to under a kick.
From here, just four minutes into the final term, Creswick wrestled control of the match, piling on seven unanswered majors to secure a percentage-boosting win.
Creswick coach Damian Lubeek said it was a pleasing performance from his charges, who were keen to back-up their shock victory over Daylesford from the week before.
“It’s just comes back to that pressure that we continuously put on the players. There some really good signs considering there’s a lot of areas for improvement,” he said.
“I’m rapt with the response the boys have given and now are starting to play the type of footy we are capable of.”
Lubeek praised the efforts of Joel Antonio and Michael Griffin through the centre, as well as ruckman Liam Hepworth, but it was clearly Lockyer that deserved best-on-ground honours.
The speedy winger showcased his pace and skill all afternoon, bobbing up with three goals in a cracking display.
Another key was Steve Patterson, who gave the Wickers plenty of drive off half back and into attack, where Ryan Pompe provided a big target and finished with four important goals.
For Gordon, Ash Munari returned from injury in good touch, winning plenty of possession off half back and even managed a brilliant goal in the second term.
Joshua Lee was vital through the middle for the Eagles, while pint-sized Nolan showed characteristics similar to St Kilda’s Stephen Milne in a performance that returned two goals.
Gordon coach Rob Fuller was limited in his options on Saturday, with the classy Adam Turley visibly struggling with illness and Matt Raworth going down with a leg injury before half-time. Fuller said he was disappointed with the way his team fell away late in the match.
“We’ve lost dash and confidence at the moment,” Fuller said.
Creswick 16.15 (111)
Gordon 8.13 (61)