Nick Dal Santo was part of buzzing Hepburn rooms on Saturday evening after the Burras pinched an important 12-point win over Beaufort in his debut for the club.
While Dal Santo didn’t dominate on the field, he did collect about 20 disposals and made plenty of tackles in a serviceable first-up performance in the Central Highlands Football League.
The former St Kilda and North Melbourne star, who played alongside his cousin Luke Stanton, spent the majority of the game in the midfield and was rarely marked by a Beaufort opponent.
Stanton proved one of the Burras’ best, particularly in the second half when the home side began to take control of the match.
Beaufort had looked the better team in the opening two quarters and led the contest by eight points at the main break.
The Crows then started the third term brightly, and despite getting out to a lead of more than two goals, were eventually pegged back and trailed by five points at the final change.
A goal to Aron Burns, who played well deep in attack all afternoon, and two from Andy McKay ultimately proved enough to snuff out the challenge from the Crows in the last quarter.
Onballers Michael Foster and Tom Stapleton were perhaps the standout players for the beaten side, while Lachlan Murray (four) and Jack Duke (three) managed seven of the eight Beaufort goals on the day.
McKay and Burns kicked three apiece for the Burras, with defender Segifili Asa Leausa another to shine for the winners.
After the game, successful coach Jason Olver invited Dal Santo to speak to the players and supporters and he thanked them for the opportunity to represent the club.
Hepburn is still sixth on the ladder after its fifth-straight win, but Beaufort’s second consecutive loss has seen it slip outside the top four.
In other games on Saturday, Springbank beat Learmonth in the top-of-the-table battle, while Buninyong, Gordon and Bungaree were all big winners. Ballan defeated Rokewood-Corindhap, Waubra proved too good for Dunnstown and Daylesford got home over Clunes.
ROUND 8 RESULTS
Buninyong 29.14 (188) d Skipton 1.4 (10)
Gordon 21.15 (141) d Creswick 2.7 (19)
Bungaree 19.14 (128) d Carngham-Linton 2.10 (22)
Daylesford 16.15 (111) d Clunes 8.7 (55)
Springbank 13.11 (89) d Learmonth 7.4 (46)
Ballan 10.10 (70) d Rokewood-Corindhap 6.10 (46)
Waubra 11.14 (80) d Dunnstown 5.7 (37)
Hepburn 10.12 (72) d Beaufort 8.12 (60)
Springbank 32, 263.39
Waubra 28, 179.07
Learmonth 24, 209.04
Bungaree 24, 177.16
Beaufort 24, 171.47
Hepburn 24, 147.67
Gordon 20, 188.93
Buninyong 20, 153.38
Daylesford 20, 105.51
Newlyn 16, 100.00
Creswick 12, 75.67
Clunes 12, 62.34
Carngham-Linton 12, 46.31
Rokewood-Corindhap 8, 67.92
Ballan 8, 45.55
Skipton 4, 23.79
Dunnstown 0, 39.66
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