NORTH Ballarat showed resolve beyond its years and experience to defy the odds and open the VFL season as a winner.
The standalone Roosters dug deep to get over Coburg Lions by six points at Coburg on Saturday.
Coach Marc Greig, in charge in a home and away match for the first time, said as big as the win was, it was the way the Roosters won rather than victory itself that impressed him the most.
An inexperienced North Ballarat had to overcome the loss of important players Louis Herbert (hamstring) and Tony Lockyer (ankle) to injury and the subsequent reduction of player rotations available for most of the second half.
“We had players who were run off their legs. There were some who didn’t get a break after half-time,” Greig said.
“They did what they had it – never giving up.”
North Ballarat led by two points at three quarter time.
The lead changed several times in the last term, and at one stage were locked up and a tie appeared a real possibility until the Roosters produced the winning goal.
Greig said the Roosters were going to face much tougher opposition, but the performance had shown that they would be able stay in contention against the likes of reigning premier Williamstown for extended periods and longer many pundits believed would be possible.
He said while it was important to celebrate the success, it would be quickly back to work. North Ballarat has a short turn around, playing Essendon at Bendigo on Friday night.
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