By Lance Jenkinson
Deer Park not only had to contend with Caroline Springs, but also treacherous weather in a 39-point win in the Western Region Football League division 1 match at Town Centre Oval on Saturday.
The Lions worked hard to create separation from the home side on the scoreboard, but just as hard to negotiate the wet and wild weather.
“I haven’t seen rain like that for a long time,” Deer Park coach Marc Bullen said.
“You could hardly see two foot in front of you in that last quarter.”
Deer Park went to the main break with a 15-point lead, but were not playing the kind of football to enthuse Bullen.
“They challenged us in the second quarter and at half time I put a bit of pressure on a few players to stand up,” he said. “We got the job done at the end of the day, so it was good.”
In-and-under ball winner Kevin Klix thrived in the elements.
“Young Klixy was the small, dynamic player on the park,” Bullen said.
“He was the best player on the ground.”
Ruckmen and key position players are usually hindered by the slippery conditions, but Scott Greenhough seemed to thrive in it.
“He loves these sort of wet dour days,” Bullen said. “He butters up from his ruck contests and he gets the footy out off the deck.
“He’s a real good asset for us in these conditions.”
Two Jacks – Purton-Smith and Redpath – found some form for Deer Park.
Purton-Smith is one of the chief playmakers of the side and an on-field leader.
Redpath, a former Western Bulldogs forward, is still finding his feet at the level, but produced one of his most energetic games of the season.
“He [Redpath] played as a high forward today and kept presenting,” Bullen said.
“He got to some key contests on a tough day.
“He’s starting to move very well, which is good for us because we need him firing heading into the tough run of games that we have.”
Kwame McHarg was the only Deer Park player with multiple goals, kicking three.
On a day when finding a way to goal was tough, Caroline Springs only managed one major.
Deer Park will face Sunshine Kangaroos at John McLeod Oval on Saturday with key players Chris Stewart and Jake McKenzie edging closer to returning from injury.
The Kangaroos will enter the game on the back of a 36-point loss to ladder leader Spotswood at Kinder Smith Reserve.
Albion went down by 169 points to Werribee Districts.
In division 3, Albanvale and Braybrook played out a draw at Robert Bruce Reserve.
When the full time siren went, the Cobras and the Brookers were locked on 46 apiece.
Sunshine Heights continued its stellar form with a one-point over Glen Orden at Ainsworth Reserve, while North Sunshine went down by 100 points to Tarneit.