It was a birthday to remember for Keilor footballer Evan Long on Saturday.
In his 300th game, on his 27th birthday, Long and his Blues teammates celebrated in style with a 57-point smashing of Avondale Heights in the premier division of the Essendon District Football League.
Long became the 28th player to reach the 300-game milestone for Keilor.
Blues president Brad Bult said it was a great day for his club.
“Evan has been outstanding for Keilor and it was great to see him reach that milestone,” he said.
“He kicked a goal in the last quarter and it was a fantastic atmosphere. Everyone really got around him. …
“He was a very talented junior coming through the ranks and he spent some time at the Western Jets as well.
“He’s quite young to be playing 300 games. That’s what it’s all about, trying to keep home- grown kids at home playing for Keilor Football Club.”
The milestone celebrations didn’t stop there for Keilor, with Lee Maieron playing his 200th game for the club and gun ruckman and former AFL player Andrew Browne bringing up his 50th for the Blues.
Keilor didn’t have things all its own way against Heights, though, and was forced to fight hard across the first three quarters.
But the Blues produced some of their best football to blow the match open in the final term.
Keilor booted 10 goals and limited Avondale Heights to just three to secure the 20.12 (132) – 9.11 (65) win.
Ryan Bathie was outstanding up forward for the winners, kicking seven goals, while David Gourdis finished with five.
Saturday’s win has also moved Keilor one step closer to the finals.
The Blues are now fourth, two games clear of their nearest rival, Strathmore.
The gap is even bigger than it appears, with Keilor also holding a considerably better percentage than all clubs below it.
The Blues will have a chance to guarantee a finals place when they meet Strathmore on Saturday.
“We’re very happy with everything that happened at the weekend; it was a great win for us,” Bult said.
“Kicking 10 goals in the last quarter was great.
“A win this week will help us secure a place in the four, so it’s an important game for us.”