A RELIEVED Maclean Bobcats outfit will look to finish the season on a high after knocking off upriver rivals Westlawn Tigers 3-1.
The 2014 NCF Premier League season has been one of frustration for the Bobcats. Saturday night's success was just the Bobcats' third win from 14 outings, and their first against Westlawn in almost two years.
Their seventh place on the table belies the quality that was on display in a deserved victory at Barry Watts Oval on Saturday night.
"We've had it tough against Westlawn the last couple of years," Bobcats captain Jarrod Doyle said at full-time. "They've had the wood on us.
"They were always in this game but I felt like we were the better team. It will feel good to sing the song that's for sure.
"We had a game plan and it came together, finally. It's good to get the pressure off our backs. We're going to celebrate tonight."
The win was largely crafted by an inspired performance from centre marksman Daley Durrant. Very much the go-to man in midfield, he was well supported by his teammates who were prepared to be patient in possession.
But it was Durrant's sense for goal that produced the highlights of the match.
After James Joyce gave Westlawn the lead with a 10th minute free kick from a wide angle, a Durrant header forced the 'keeper into a smart save.
Durrant followed up soon after with a superb free kick that ricocheted in off the crossbar but the whistle had been blown for some wrestling off the ball.
Ten minutes from half-time Durrant forced another save with a pot-shot from 30 metres out. He then struck a header that eventually bobbled into goal off a Westlawn player to set up a 1-all scoreline at the break.
Six minutes into the second period Durrant struck a free kick at an awkward height that beat the 'keeper.
Maclean continued to dictate terms and soon led 3-1 when a right-sided attacking foray was finished by Evan Lloyd's deft chip.
Lloyd, 16, gradually grew into the match to be one of Bobcats' best on the right wing in what proved a tactical masterstroke from head coach Giuseppe Terranova.
"Evan's my right wingback and he's been pressuring me to push him further forward," Terranova said.
"He got that chance and scored a goal. He puts in a lot of work and he deserved to get the reward.
"I'm highly rapt for the players to get the result, it's been a hard year."