By Matt Fotia
Mount Evelyn would be the form side of the competition come finals time if they can win their remaining three games according to senior coach Mark Fisher, after the Rovers bounced back from their Round 12 loss to Doveton with a 11 point win over Officer, 14.12(96) to 12.13(85).
Mount Evelyn trailed by 32 points at the main break before kicking eight goals to three in the second half to storm home and take fourth spot off the Roos.
The win also saw the Rovers draw within a game of third placed Doveton after the Doves had an upset loss up at Emerald.
Fisher said his troops drifted away from the game plan late in the second term, but was pleased with their mental application in the second half.
“We were okay in the first quarter, missed a couple of easy goals and then in the second quarter they just blew us away,”
“The boys just went away from what we were doing so we went back to what we do and trusted it,”
“It (the win) was through hard work, and it’s all about mental application for mine, if they (the players) stay at it mentally for long enough, they’re physically strong enough,”
“It’s a great win because the results around the grounds now give us a live chance to finish third, which is fantastic.”
Key forward Robert Hartfield bobbed up with three majors for the Rovers and remains a key cog for Fisher’s side. The coach knows how a big a role the number 18 plays, even if he isn’t their be all and end all when it comes to scoring goals.
“We don’t look for one bloke down forward, we use the big fella as a pivot and he rarely gets out marked,”
“He should get a lot more free kicks then he does too, they hang off him every week, but he finds a way to get it ground for us, so he’s huge,”
“We try and put some clever blokes around him and keep finding a way.”
Hartfield does lead the goal kicking for Mount Evelyn, but the Rovers have nine players who have put the Sherrin through the big sticks on five or more occasions, which pleases Fisher.
“We’ve got eight or nine blokes that’ve got some goals,”
“I like the spread because if we get an injury we know we can play around it still, which is the way we’re built to play.”
The Rovers are now are well set to grab the double chance off of Doveton, with a superior percentage and more favourable run home.
Mount Evelyn face Belgrave, Monbulk and Emerald at home, whilst the Doves have to tackle Monbulk and Pakenham before travelling to Warburton Millgrove, which as Mount Evelyn will tell you, is no sure thing.
Should the Rovers win all three of their remaining games Fisher believes they will enter the finals series as the form side of the competition.
“If we can win the last three, if that were to eventuate, we will clearly be the form side heading into the finals,”
“That would be massive for us.”