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YARRAM has regained local bragging rights and intensified the battle for position in the North Gippsland football top five, with an 18-point win against rival Woodside.
The Demons made the most of the wet conditions at Yarram on Saturday to outclass the bigger-bodied Wildcats, 16.14 (110) to 14.8 (92), and remain in the hunt for a top three finish.
After being soundly beaten in the reverse fixture in round one, Demons coach Chris Pettitt said the opening day defeat was part of the making of his young side.
“We were disappointed with the round one loss and didn’t see it coming,” Pettitt said.
“Looking back it might be the best thing that could have happened to us (because) it meant we had to work harder.
“(Saturday’s win) was just about effort. Given the weather it wasn’t going to be about skills, it simplifies football a lot and that suited us more than it suited them.”
The visitors got the jump on the home side and led by 14 points at quarter-time.
Yarram hit back in the second term, but inaccuracy in front of goal meant it was still trailing by two points at the main break.
That all changed in the second half, as the Demons registered 10 goals from 14 scoring shots a great return given the difficult conditions.
Young midfielder Louis Rodaughan (two goals) and under 18 half-back Will Bodman continued to impress, while Chris Bruns and Liam Farley were also prominent.
Corbin Sutherland booted four goals on his return to the side from suspension to move within two goals of Rosedale spearhead Brandon McDonald at the top of the goal-kicking charts.
Aidan Fitzgerald, Shane Kilgower and Mathew Nelson were best for Woodside, with Rob Michaelides contributing four goals.
The win was the first of three crucial weeks for the Demons, who face fellow finals hopefuls Rosedale (sixth) and Heyfield (fifth) in the two rounds following next weekend’s league-wide bye.
“It’s one thing to beat Woodside but we have to back that up against other good sides,” Pettitt said.
“Gormandale and Glengarry have showed they can be competitive and a loss against any of those sides can ruin your season.”
Woodside remains third, four points clear of Yarram and Heyfield and eight clear of sixth-placed Rosedale.