There were a handful of closely contested matches in round four of the 2021 Mininera and District Football League as the ladder gradually begins to take shape.
Moyston Willaura's seniors finished 11th in 2019 with a solitary win.
But their seniors have shown remarkable improvement, earning their third win of the 2021 season with a 12.11 (83) - 5.14 (44) Victory over SMW Rovers on Saturday, May 8.
Zach Louder was named best on the ground, kicking six goals to take his season tally to 26.
Moyston Willaura co-coach Terry Keilar said he was particularly satisfied with how the team began the match.
"We were really pleased with how we started the game, we had nine goals to their one at half-time," he said.
"Our focus was on playing one-on-one footy. We felt we put them under enormous pressure and we were able to turn that into scoreboard pressure, which really set the game up."
SMW Rovers reduced the deficit during the second half but were occasionally wayward with their kicking.
Keilar said he was eager for his players to continue building their fitness.
"A lot of them hadn't played months (before the season) so it's just about getting their bodies geared for footy," he said.
"We've probably got six or seven out at the moment, which means we've got good depth, but we're hoping to eventually have everyone available.
Keilar said the teams are slowly developing an understanding of who their main competitors will be.
"We'll see how we go over time and look at the opposition and see how they're travelling and who we need to be beating to put ourselves in a position to make the finals. But there's a lot of footy to play between now and then," he said.
Woorndoo Mortlake narrowly defeated Ararat Eagles 9.9 (63) - 8.6 (54) in round four to remain unbeaten and stay atop the table.
The Eagles now have two losses and two wins. However, both those losses were less than 10 points and came against teams that are currently unbeaten, with the first of them coming against reigning premiers Great Western in round two.
They demolished the visitors 29.10 (184) - 1.6 (12).
Damon Folkes kicked 10 goals meaning he now has 28 for the season.
Tatyoon defeated Wickliffe Lake Bolac 20.14 (134) - 4.3 (27).
Tatyoon is the other team yet to suffer defeat, although this exclusive group is set to shrink, as they play fellow unbeaten side Great Western in round five.
Glenthompson Dunkeld defeated Lismore Derrinallum 15.21 (111) - 14.11 (95) in a far closer affair.
Glenthompson Dunkeld would have led earlier if their kicking had been more clinical. At the end of the first quarter, they had just one goal but 11 behinds.
They may not be afforded such room for error in round five when they face Ararat Eagles.
Elsewhere, Penshurst earned a 25.18 (168) - 4.9 (33) victory over Caramut.
Jye Uebergang was named best on the ground for the Bombers, while Kane Uebergang was also influential, kicking seven goals to help set up the win.
Round five fixtures:
- Glenthompson Dunkeld vs Ararat Eagles
- Wickliffe Lake Bolac vs Caramut
- Moyston Willaura vs Lismore Derrinallum
- Penshurst vs SMW Rovers
- Tatyoon vs Great Western
- Woorndoo Mortlake vs Hawkesdale Macarthur
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