Taylors Lakes’ rare double draw

Taylors Lakes’ Rory Alexander lines up for goal. (Marco De Luca)

Draws are rare occurrences in football.

For a team to play in two draws in as many weeks is incredible – but that’s what Taylors Lakes has experienced in Essendon District Football League division 1.

After letting a win slip the previous week against Airport West, the Lions were involved in another tight one – against local rival Hillside.

Both sides had their chances to get the win, but in the end they couldn’t be separated, finishing locked at 12.14 (86) apiece.

Lions coach Sam Tankard was philosophical about the outcome.

“I only played in one draw myself while I played,” he said.

“To have two in two weeks is unbelievable. Both sides would say they could have come away with a win.

“I would have been happier with the draw had we got the win the week before.”

With a wind going across the ground, but favouring one end, both sides looked to make the most of it when they had it.

Tankard said a couple of missed opportunities when the Lions were against the wind had proven costly.

“In the third quarter against the wind, we could have had the scores level,” he said.

“We had a shot in the goal at the end of the quarter from the goal square and we missed.

“They went down the other end and led by 11 points at three-quarter time.”

After both teams spent time in attack in the final quarter, the Lions regained the lead through James Vistarini with 90 seconds remaining.

Then followed a few nervous moments for the Lions coaching staff as Hillside’s Matthew Patane took a mark in the 50 – and kicked a point to level the scores.

“We had two players behind the ball, but he got 10 metres clear,” Tankard said. “It was always going to be hard to kick.”

Rory Alexander kicked five goals for the Lions, while Patane kicked four for the Sharks.

The draw leaves the Lions in fifth, two points behind the Sharks.

Tankard said their season and finals hopes were resting in their own hands.

He said that in the pre-season they had tried to be realistic about their chances, but now finals were a focus.

“We play Oak Park and Westmeadows the next two weeks and they’re always hard to win,” he said.

“The top sides are playing each other. Our destiny is in our own hands. We’ve been competitive in every match except round one. We’re happy with how things are going.”

In premier division, Keilor celebrated Michael James’ 350th game with a hard-fought 10.8 (68)-7.10 (52) win against Essendon Doutta Stars. The Blues are second on the ladder.

In division 2, Burnside Heights upset the Northern Saints. In a thriller, the Bears won 14.9 (93)-12.13 (85). Josh Covelli kicked four goals, including the sealer.