The Bulldogs employed a courageous tactic to combat Paddy Ryder, and it helped them secure a vital win in MPFNL Division 2.
Mornington playing-coach Josh Newman says his side’s six-point win over Devon Meadows on Saturday can propel it towards a finals campaign in MPFNL Division 2.
The Panthers had won their previous four games.
But a six-goal opening quarter burst by Mornington set up its 14.10 (94) to 13.10 (88) victory at Alexandra Park, with Newman rating it the Bulldogs’ most important win of the season.
With a 7-3 record, Mornington has consolidated third spot behind undefeated Karingal and Somerville.
“It was a very hard fought contest, they’re obviously a super talented side, Devon, they’ve got some quality players in there,” Newman said.
“I think it was our most important win…it was going to be a very heated contest with where we are both situated on the ladder.
“I think for us, especially, being such a young group, I think it was extremely important for us to gain a lot of confidence going into the second half of the year and it sets us up for a finals campaign hopefully.
“We’ll see how it pans out but I think it was a really important one for us.”
Newman heaped praise on young defender Matty Caine, who was named Mornington’s best player for his efforts to cut off supply to Devon Meadows spearhead Paddy Ryder.
Ryder kicked five goals but his tally would have been more if not for the courageous efforts of Caine.
“He was massive for us,” Newman said of Caine.
“Paddy Ryder down there, he was a massive threat and any time the ball went into his vicinity he’d just mark it.
“We’re a pretty young side so by no means do we have any big experienced key defenders that are a perfect match for him, so Matty Caine kept working hard to support us, and sit in that hole and he took intercept mark after intercept mark, with no real regard for his safety at times.
“But he helped save us the game in that last quarter. He was crucial.”
Nathan Heath, Jarrod Hicks, Harry Lloyd, Harry Bould and Ryan Falvo were also among the Bulldogs’ best.
Jackson Calder kicked three goals, with Newman, Matthew North and Tim Susovich two each.
Calder has 26 goals in eight games.
Devon Meadows’ best were Ty Kirkwood, Ryder, Jayden Sullivan, Riley Simmons, Patrick Sinnema and Nick Battle.
Elsewhere, Karingal stormed home to beat Chelsea by 42 points and take its record to 10-0. The Bulls trailed by three points at the last break before kicking six goals to one in the final quarter. Karingal ruckman Agape Patolo was best afield and Matt Robinson kicked three goals. Alex Frawley, Laughlin Cowell, Jackson Burke and Darcy Hope were also outstanding for the winners.
Tom Panich and Warwick Miller kicked nine goals between them to fire Crib Point to a 36-point victory over Rye, 12.13 (85) to 7.7 (49). Panich finished with five, his best haul of the season.
Somerville dug deep to score a stirring 12-point win over Pearcedale, with Jaxsen Shinners, Tom Murphy and Corey Battams outstanding and high-flying Lachlan Sharp slotting four goals.
Edithvale-Aspendale climbed to fifth spot with a 29-point win over Seaford. Zack O’Neill, Daniel Harrison, Liam Hiscock, Hugo Clarke and Billy Flavelle (four goals) were among the best for the Eagles.
Hastings stayed in the finals hunt with a nine-point win over Tyabb. Michael Bezzene, Josh Berenger, Patrick Wilson, Jake Hewitt, Blake Rhodes and Jordan Nennstiel were the Blues’ best.
Originally published as MPFNL: Matt Caine best-on as Mornington downs Devon Meadows