THERE have been wins by greater margins, but Golden Square coach Bernie Haberman rates the latest in Bendigo Football Netball League as one of the best of the 22 in his time at the club.
Resilience and character are traits that Haberman has seen a lot of from the Bulldogs squad in recent weeks.
On Saturday, Square faced plenty of challenges on their turf at Wade Street from a desperate Sandhurst.
In a contest where plenty was at stake, Golden Square kicked clear in the last term to win 93-64.
“I was really proud of the effort,” Haberman said when asked to reflect on the team’s seventh win of the season.
Injuries have forced a lot of changes in the past five weeks.
“Whether those changes are forced or by choice it can be difficult to have cohesiveness in the way we play,” Haberman said.
Despite the changes and being without some of their best, the Bulldogs have scored crucial wins at home against Kyneton and Sandhurst the past two rounds.
The round 10 victory meant Square is just two points behind Kyneton in the fight to gain a top-three finish and the coveted double chance at finals time.
Haberman said belief within the group would grow, especially after being outpointed by Strathfieldsaye and Gisborne.
The Bulldogs will be without the classy Hamish Morcom for several weeks after he injured his shoulder against the Dragons.
In round 10, key forwards Jayden Burke and Dylan Johnstone took some strong marks and kicked two and three goals respectively.
Burke’s ability to win a lot of contests inside forward 50m or further up the ground earned best afield honours.
“Jayden played a massive game,” said Haberman.
“He took 10 marks, most of those were contested.
“He was the stand-out forward on the day.”
Bulldogs’ captain Jack Geary overcame a heavy knock in the first quarter to just keep racking up possessions.
Geary’s leadership and cool play under pressure was a key factor.
“His running is amazing,” said Haberman.
“Jack’s not the fastest player in the league, but he can maintain his top-end speed for a lot longer than his opponents.”
Haberman said the selfless play from the likes of Geary, Adam Baird, Jake Thrum and many others is just as important as racking up plenty of kicks, handballs and marks.
The Bulldogs also had the experienced Brad Eaton and ruckman Matt Compston lead the way in many contests against the Dragons.
Golden Square faces Maryborough and Castlemaine in the next two rounds before a big game at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park in the 13th round.