NUMURKAH snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Sunday, going down by the narrowest of margins to Tongala in the Murray football league preliminary final.
Numurkah started strongly, with the ruck tandem of Mitch Price and Michael Griffiths having the advantage early.
The midfield capitalised on this to surge forward on several occasions where Mikey Herlihy and Ben Gunning were lively inside forward 50.
The Blues maintained possession for most of the quarter to restrict any chance of Tongala working forward, limiting it to one goal to the Blues' four in the first term.
Tongala worked its way back into the contest in the second term, but wasteful kicking and the strong resolve of Grant Gallus, with support from his defenders on the last line of defence, resulted in Tongala only kicking one goal six behinds despite having the majority of the play in their forward half.
After the main break, the Blues started to get overrun by their Tongala opponents. The Tongala midfield was looking more dangerous and began to match the Numurkah onballers around the ground.
Numurkah was still able to put four goals on the board for the quarter but, at the other end, the revolving Tongala forward line made the most of its forward entries to kick straighter than the first half and finish with a five goal quarter to see Numurkah two points up at the last break.
Numurkah came out firing to start the last quarter. Mitch Price got back on top at the centre stoppages and both Beau McKeown and Jamie Fulton willed the ball out of the packs to go long inside 50.
The forward entries created chaos for the Tongala defence where Herlihy and Gunning, along with Josh Hoffmann, were once again dangerous.
With the margin out to 19 points in the Blues' favour, Tongala began to find the answers and closed the gap as the quarter wore down, through veterans Jordan Souter and Cam Ilett.
Scores drew level and, with one minute left on the clock, Tongala kicked a point to take the lead, managed to keep the ball in its half to hold onto the slimmest advantage, and Numurkah came away with the heartbreaking one point loss to miss a grand final appearance.
This week in 1920: April 1
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