Football can sometimes be a cruel game as Prahran Assumption can testify after a heart breaking three point loss to Therry Penola in VAFA Division 1 on Saturday.
In a low scoring, arm wrestle the Two Blues were always toiling to inch ahead of Therry Penola despite dominating forward 50 entries.
When gun goal kicker Jarrod Bannister posted his fourth goal for the day from 50m to extend the home team’s lead to nine points early in the last quarter it seemed the die was cast.
After all, the Two Blues were kicking into a slight breeze and had cobbled a mere four goals in three and a bit quarters of industrious effort.
Harry Taylor gave supporters a flicker of hope when he goaled, but then Therry Penola hit back with successive goals.
Surely the game was over now. But not to be denied Jamie Robbins goaled, then Joe Slattery and Robbins missed from close range.
Still the Two Blues kept coming and Adam Sleight, who turned back the clock with a dominant display in ruck, marked and converted with three minutes left to narrow the gap to three points.
From the centre bounce the Two Blues rushed the ball forward and Slattery won a free kick 25m out. This time he goaled and Slattery, who was outstanding all day, was fleetingly the hero as suddenly Prahran Assumption was in front with about two minutes to play.
The Two Blues tried the possession game effectively until the last 30 seconds when the home team launched one last attack. A free kick from 25m out was the killer blow and the goal won back the lead to give Therry Penola a thrilling 9-4 (58) to 8-7 (55) win.
This was arguably the Two Blues best display for the season given it was on enemy territory against the second on the ladder team.
Time and again the Two Blues linked a chain of handballs to cut holes in the Therry Penola defence but a lack of polish up forward yet again was the difference between winning and losing.
As heart breaking as it was for the Two Blues, it must be said Therry Penola did lose one of its ace goal kickers Corey Bannister with concussion after an accidental bump half-way through the second quarter.
Bannister lay motionless while attended by trainers until an ambulance arrived, with the captains agreeing to an early end to the quarter.
Thankfully the news from Therry Penola was Bannister escaped serious injury.
The Two Blues now return home to Toorak Park to tackle PEGS who stunned the competition by becoming the first team to topple ladder Old Mentonians.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 2-1 3-2 4-5 8-7 (55)
THERRY PENOLA 2-2 4-3 5-3 9-4 (58)
Goals: Robbins, Slattery 2, Taylor, Waters, Adams, Sleight.
Best: Sleight, Stocker, Donahoo, Simpson, Slattery.
After a shock loss to cellar dweller Ivanhoe, the Two Blues rebounded with a gutsy away win to replace fourth placed Therry Penola on the ladder.
The Two Blues set up the win with a dominant first half.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 3-0 7-3 8-6 10-7 (67)
THERRY PENOLA 1-6 2-7 5-8 8-11 (59)
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 9-8 (62)
ST FRANCIS XAVIER 7-13 (55)
Prahran Assumption won its White Ribbon game against St Francis Xavier.