Prahran Assumption produced its best and some of its worst football for the season in a deflating loss to PEGS at Toorak Park on Saturday.
Confronted by finals bound PEGS the opening 10 minutes were sobering as the visitors kicked three goals into a stiff breeze.
But for the rest of the quarter the underdog Two Blues reigned supreme.
Their pressure around the ball and slick ball movement resulted in five unanswered goals from Jamie Robbins (3), Matt Wall and Harry Taylor to give the Two Blues a 22 point lead.
PEGS hit back with five quick goals but majors from Robbins and Jack Matherson momentarily restored the lead.
Even at half-time this was still a winnable game with PEGS edging ahead by 12 points after a seven goals to two second quarter.
But the third quarter proved both defining and deflating as the Two Blues’ intensity fell away.
A brief rain storm didn’t help but just two goals with the breeze and conceding four goals meant it was game over with a 25 point deficit at three quarter-time, a unlikely scenario given such a promising opening.
A lack lustre final term followed with PEGS sealing an emphatic win 17-19 (112) to 10-9 (69).
Tellingly, the Prahran Assumption tackle count dropped by 50 per cent from the first half to the second half and the scoring dried up.
After a six goals first quarter, the Two Blues managed to cobble together a mere 4-5 in the final three quarters.
Matt Wall, Harry Taylor and Trent Rogers were outstanding in on balls roles and Robbins with five goals was the dominant forward in the game.
But too many of their teammates made too many mistakes or lacked the will to take on a superior opponent.
Next Saturday it is back to Toorak Park v equal ladder leader St Mary’s Salesian before the mid-season break with the ninth placed Two Blues desperately needing a win to stave off the prospect of relegation.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 6-4 8-5 10-6 10-9 (69)
PEGS 3-0 10-5 13-7 17-10 (112)
Goals. Robbins 5, Wall 2, Taylor, J Matherson, Sleight,
Best. Taylor, Robbins, Wall, Rogers, Webb, Stocker.
The Two Blues staged a remarkable revival to post a thrilling one point win in an enthalling clash with PEGS.
After leading for the first half PEGS held the Two Blues scoreless in the third term and took a nine point lead at three quarter-time.
The Two Blues restored the lead with two quick goals, then PEGS added two of their own into the breeze to wrest back control.
But not to be denied Isaac Edmunds kicked his third goal and with less than two minutes left Tom Marmo goaled on the run and the Two Blues held on for point win and replace PEGS in third place on the ladder.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 3-2 4-5 4-6 8-7 (55)
PEGS 1-1 3-2 6-3 8-6 (54)
Goals: Edmunds 3, Rice, Da Riva, Ancrum, Marmo, Ellis.
Best: Kerr, Armstrong, Hall, T Matherson, Delahenty, Edmunds.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 5-9 (39)
RICHMOND CENTRAL 17-7 (109)