Dunnstown had a red hot go at snatching a finals berth from Daylesford on Saturday, and despite winning the game by 48 points, fell short of a top eight spot by less than six per cent.
From a first term eight-point advantage, the Towners blew it out to a 32-point lead at half time and looked the goods to damage the Bulldogs further on the scoreboard.
Dunnstown’s march on the scoreboard came to an arm-wrestle in the third quarter when Daylesford dug deep and matched the hosts in every key position.
The Towners started the final term 34 points ahead, but needed to win by about 80 to secure a percentage boost big enough to dislodge the Bulldogs from eighth spot.
Andrew Toan got the ball rolling within minutes of the restart with a Dunnstown goal from a deft pass from Michael Archer. Minutes later, a free kick and 50m penalty to Angus Thompson had the second for the quarter.
The most damaging player in front of goals for Dunnstown was Joe Stefani and skipper Rhys Cahir. Both kicked three majors.
Among the best for Dunnstown were Tim O’Shea, Sam Jenkins, Kyle Andrews, Mitch Henderson and Aaron Sawers, who marked his 100th game for the Towners with a goal.
Ruckman Aaron Brennan tackled his Bulldog opponent Sam Winnard with great gusto.
The Bulldogs’ best included Joel Cowan, Seb Walsh, Patrick Rowe and Joel Cummings. But it was a big, big effort from William Hughes which stood out for Daylesford.
For Daylesford coach Marcus Goonan, an elimination final against Waubra is now the focus.
“We’ve made finals so it’s not over yet. We’ll see where we end up.”
BEAUFORT 9.14 (68) NEWLYN 5.1 (31)
Beaufort clinched the Central Highlands Football League minor premiership on Saturday with victory over Newlyn.
The Crows tuned up for the qualifying final against Buninyong with a 37-point win.
Dylan McLachlan, Lachlan Fishwick and David Richardson were named among Newlyn’s best during the weekend match.
ROKE-CORIN 10.22 (82) CLUNES 8.5 (53)
Rokewood-Corindhap forward Caius Barrenger kicked six goals to lead his side to a 29-point win over Clunes on Saturday and be named best for the Grasshoppers.
For Clunes, Jesse Baird was named the side’s best, while Jordan Cullen booted three majors.