IT wasn’t the percentage-boosting win most people expected, but for Kangaroo Flat coach Jason Stevens the four points was all that mattered.
Kangaroo Flat’s Ryley Barrack.
The Roos dodged a bullet against a young Maryborough side inspired by the one-off appearance of former Melbourne and Carlton midfielder Brock McLean.
The Magpies led for the majority of the game, but ran out of legs in the final quarter with the Roos grabbing the points, 14.13 (97) to 12.14 (86).
“Maryborough were up and about,’’ Stevens said.
“It was a scrappy game and we didn’t play well, but at the end of the day we got the four points.
“It’s never easy to come here and win. Last year Maryborough beat us at Maryborough, so even though we didn’t play as well as we’d like, it’s good to get the win.”
Maryborough had been beaten by a combined total of 206 points in its first two matches, but the inclusion of McLean and the return of Bendigo Pioneers-listed midfielder Billy Mahony made marked difference to the young Magpies’ midfield.
McLean and Mahony’s ball-winning ability in tight created opportunities for their young team-mates and with Matt Bond causing havoc inside forward 50, the Magpies looked the much better side in the first half.
However, as the game wore on the Magpies’ young list began to tire and slowly but surely the Roos started to gain control through the middle of the ground.
Maryborough’s 23-point half-time lead was eroded by three quarter-time and despite the Magpies’ gallant efforts to regain control in the final quarter, the Roos had all the answers.
Roos’ key forward Cam Rinaldi kicked five goals against his former club, while former South Bendigo midfielder Jayke Barrack made a big impression in his first game for Flat, kicking three goals.
Midfield duo Ross Turner and Corey Greer were solid and ruckman Nick Lang was the best big man on the ground.
McLean was the Magpies best player ahead of James Macer, Coby Perry, Joseph Collinson and Mahony.
The victory came at a cost for the Roos, with Andrew Cussen (shoulder) and Trent McInnes (broken finger) facing extended time on the sidelines.
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