BANNOCKBURN spearhead Jason Tom has played the hero as the Geelong and District Football League overcame a 23-point half time deficit to defeat Central Highlands by four points at Bungaree.

Trailing by two points in the final minute, Tom made two crucial contributions that ensured the Raiders returned down the Midland Highway with the win.

“We thought there was 1½ minutes to go, but it ended up being not even 30 seconds when Jase kicked a goal,” Skrobalak said.

“He quickly ran back to be a loose man behind the ball, they got the clearance and he put a smother on the kick, then the siren went.”

The GDFL trailed by just one point at quarter time, before the Highlanders banged on 5.7 to 2.3 in the second term to push the margin out to just shy of four goals.

But the Raiders hit back, kicking six goals in the third term to wrest back the lead by the final change.

“There were a few things we wanted to improve at half time; pressure, and also our ball handling and foot skills,” Skrobalak said.

“We knew we had the gameplan, and if we did those three things we knew we were able to get it over the back, and we scored time and time again from doing that.

Skrobalak’s decision to appoint Thomson star Brent Macleod as skipper was an inspired choice.

“Macleod was brilliant,” Skrobalak said.

“He had 30-plus (possessions), a heap of clearances, and kicked two (goals).

“Luke Parker off half-back was fantastic. He gave us heap of drive.

“Connor Jervies on a wing was fantastic all day, he was the one standout with clean hands all day.

“(Steve) Richert was good, Jason Tom was fantastic with his marking all day.

“But at the end of the day, I think we had a lot of guys that worked hard all day.

“We knew it was always going to be about talent, it was more about us working together and sticking to the plan.

“At the end of the day, that’s what they did.”

Tom and Inverleigh’s Nathan Mayes both kicked three goals, while Mayes’ Hawks teammate Casey Meehan contributed two majors.

An ankle injury suffered by Bell Post Hill young gun Jake Barlow early in the match was the only sour note.

He came from the ground in the opening 10 minutes of the match, returned to kicked a goal in the second quarter, before being put on ice for the remainder of the contest.

The GDFL, which is now ranked 22, will face the Heathcote and District league, who lost to the Bellarine, in 2o17

MEANWHILE, earlier in the day, the GDFL under-18 team defeated Central Highlands 7.10 (52) to 6.5 (41).

Ben Taylor and Titit Nyak both kicked two goals for the young Raiders, with Nyak and Elia Tzagarakis their best.

Twitter: @tom_king79

Geelong & District FL 3.3, 5.6, 11.9, 14.10 (94)

Central Highlands FL 3.4, 8.11, 10.13, 12.18 (90)

GOALS, Geelong & District FL :

Jason Tom 3, Nathan Mayes 3, Casey Meehan 2, Shane Lymer 1, Brent Macleod 1, Tavae Sauni 1, Ryan Garrard 1, Jake Barlow 1, Luke Parker 1

Central Highlands FL :

Christian Elliott 3, Shaun Finlayson 2, Jack Duke 2, Jarrod Morgan 1, William Young 1, Brenton Powell 1, Chris McGuigan 1, Sebastian Walsh 1

BEST, Geelong & District FL :

Brent Macleod, Luke Parker, Connor Jervies, Jason Tom, Ren Lovitt, Nathan Mayes

Central Highlands FL :

Brenton Powell, Jarrod Morgan, Tye Murphy, David Benson, Ned Gilbert, Mark Gunnell

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