For Bacchus Marsh, everything that could go wrong did go wrong in its preliminary final loss to Darley.
The reigning Ballarat Football League premier produced its worst performance of the past two seasons, shown up by a flying Darley side.
The Devils got the jump early and finished the game off with the last eight goals to win 18.18 (126)-3.10 (28).
The Bacchus Marsh loss was compounded by injuries and a red card to star forward Jarrah Maksymow.
Cobras coach Travis Hodgson said it was a bad day all round.
“Credit to Darley – no excuses, they were the better side all day,” he said. “They started ferociously and we weren’t able to go with them.
“Even when both sides had 22 fit players at the start of the game, their intensity was a lot higher. They took their game to another level from the home-and-away season.”
The Cobras had to play the second half of the game with no bench.
Kane White hurt his knee in the third minute of the game, with doctors believing he’s torn his ACL. Trent Angwin, who was returning from a hamstring injury, re-injured the same hamstring in the eighth minute of the game.
Matt Denham then hurt an ankle, leaving the Cobras with one player on the bench.
That became none at all when Maksymow received his red card in the second quarter.
The Cobras had to play short for a period and Maksymow couldn’t return to the field. He will face the tribunal this week.
Hodgson said even without all the injuries, the result wouldn’t have been different.
“Our bad luck had no bearing on the result,” he said. “It probably added to the margin as the game blew out late, as we were shot.”
Hodgson said they had already discussed the game and were looking forward to this week’s preliminary final with Lake Wendouree.
The Cobras lead the head-to-head match-up tally between the two sides this season at 3-0, with the most recent match being in the opening round of the finals.
Hodgson said they would take some confidence from that.
“I think we are capable of bouncing back,” he said. “We’re focusing on the positives now.
“We know each other really well – we’ve played more footy against them than anyone else the last couple of years.
“Both teams understand each other. We know there’s a lot of question marks over us. It’s a good chance to show some character.”
Hogdson said that while it looked like they would lose four players, they would have at least two players back from injury, with Scott Sherlock and Billy Griffiths looking set to return.
The Devils’ reserves won straight through to the grand final.