Essendon District Football League fell just short of a comeback, suffering a heartbreaking two-point loss to the Eastern Football League in the AFL Victoria WorkSafe Country Championships.
While the margin shows a thriller, the EDFL was left to do the chasing all day after a poor start to the game between the two highest ranked metro sides.
The EFL kicked the first six goals, leaving the EDFL on the back foot.
The EDFL managed to kick two goals late in the quarter, but still trailed by 27 points at the first break.
EFL’s lead opened up to 34 points at half-time, despite a spark from Keilor’s Jason Williams, who kicked two goals for quarter for the EDFL.
Whatever the coaching panel said at half-time seemed to work, with the EDFL finding a new energy and working itself into the game.
In a more free-flowing game, 14 goals were kicked for the third quarter and the EDFL reduced the margin to just over three goals heading into the last.
Peppering the goals in the final quarter, the EDFL pegged the margin back to four points but it couldn’t finish the job.
The EDFL fell two points short, losing 18.10 (118)-17.14 (116).
Patrick Rose and Jason Williams finished with five goals apiece for the EDFL, with Dean Galea kicking four goals.
Aberfeldie’s Daniel Thompson was named the EDFL’s best. Caleb Vearing, Rose and Greenvale’s Fort Caruso all provided good support.
Leigh Williams, who kicked four goals for the EFL, was named best on ground.
Speaking on EDFL radio after the game, EDFL coach Brodie Holland said he was extremely proud of his side.
“The boys fought it out extremely well.”
The loss means the EDFL slips to fifth in the overall state rankings.
The EFL will next play off against Geelong Football League, which remained the number one ranked league.