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GIPPSLAND POWER - 11.11.77
EASTERN RANGES - 10.8.68
Making the trip down the Princes Freeway to face Gippsland Power in Morwell, the Ranges boys were determined to give the second-placed team a shock heading into the finals.
It took a while for them to settle into the game, however. By quarter time, the score was 26 to 1, and it would have been easy for heads to start dropping.
But to the boys’ credit, they weren’t prepared to give in - and set about reeling in the lead with some daring football played at breakneck speed.
After Gippsland kicked the first goal of the second term, our boys responded with eight of the next nine goals until three-quarter time.
With a four-point lead at the final break, the coach urged the boys to back themselves in and return home with a well-deserved victory against a contending team.
However, Gippsland came out firing in the final quarter, kicking four unanswered goals to propel themselves into the lead.
A couple of goals our way brought the margin back to ten points with three minutes left, but time was not on our side and the final margin of defeat was nine points.
A gallant effort against a top team, with our best footy simply too good for them for periods of the game. Being able to sustain that best footy for a full four quarters has been the challenge this year - a five to ten-minute lapse in games has been the difference on a few occasions.
This year, though, the wildcard game gives us the opportunity to piece it all together when it counts - under the heat of knockout football.
Best players were Kye Quirk, Cooper Leon, Adrian Kalcovski, Jack Kritopoulos, Xavier Fry, and Joel Burleigh.
Goalkickers on the day were:
A Kalcovski 3
J Burleigh 2
B Hickleton 2
The wildcard match is up next weekend, the match at IKON Park against Western Jets on Sunday will decide who plays Oakleigh Chargers in the elimination final. A loss will spell the end of season 2018.