WRFL: Sunshine Heights’ late rush lifts it to big win

A SCINTILLATING 11-goals-to-two last term fired Sunshine Heights to a 65-point win over Braybrook in the Western Region Football League division 2 at Ainsworth Reserve on Saturday.

The Heights were off the boil for the best part of three quarters before running riot to win 24.7 (151) to 13.8 (86).

“We were pretty disappointing for the first three quarters,” Heights coach Daniel Xuereb told the Weekly. “We took a while to click.”

Xuereb lamented his team “relying on too few”, saying their success this season had come with a one-in all-in approach.

The Heights took stock at three- quarter-time, re-emphasising their core values and getting a timely reminder of the importance of a victory in the context of the season.

“I told the boys at three-quarter- time there was only two or three goals in it and if we win today we can start preparing for our first final,  but if we lose we could go back to the pack,” Xuereb said.

“They responded and really came back hard in that last quarter and started moving the ball like we had for the last month.”

Seeing captain Michael Nicolaides back in a Heights jumper after a knee reconstruction has been inspirational for the team and he gave a reminder of why he is so important to the midfield with his best game since the injury.

“It takes a while to get confidence back into your body,” Xuereb said. “He was sensational.”

James Ciarlo kicked seven goals and has booted 20 in the past three weeks and 39 for the season.

“A young key forward with so much promise is good to have around the club,” Xuereb said.

Michael Boyle, a key defender playing against his old club for the first time, and Daniel Harraca, who featured on the backline and in midfield, were the other stand outs for the Heights.

With a three-game and  percentage break over sixth-placed Albanvale, the Heights have all but slammed the door on teams outside the top five with five rounds left in the regular season.

Elsewhere in division 2, Albanvale had a one-point win over Sanctuary Lakes at Robert Bruce Reserve.

David Azzopardi and Daniel Bartolo booted three apiece for the Cobras in a low-scoring game.