Prahran Assumption displayed a sample of what might have been with one of it's season best efforts against VAFA Division 1 finalist Therry Penola at Toorak Park on Saturday.
In its final home match in a disappointing season, the Two Blues produced a brand of football worthy of a top four team despite the 17 point loss in an entertaining clash. As coach Ash Mills wondered out loud post match where was this level of skill and application when it mattered most during the season?
Several times the Two Blues threatened a major upset.
From mid-way through the second quarter Prahran Assumption came from a 17 point deficit to slam on seven unanswered goals to take a 27 point lead mid-way through the third quarter with some impressive slick ball movement and an intensity missing for most of the season.
Adam Sleight inspired the comeback turning back the clock with his trademark high marking kicking three goals in the second quarter.
Therry Penola rallied and two late quarters goals narrowed the three quarter-time Two Blues lead to 15 points, barely enough considering they were kicking into a breeze, but when Ben Leske converted from a free-kick in the first two minutes a win became a reality.
Then enter man of the match Jarrod Bannister who had already kicked five goals and boosted his tally to eight despite the valiant efforts of full-back John Stocker.
Therry Penola's eight goal last quarter, mainly due to Bannister and countless centre square clearances from captain Jarrod Egglestone, gave the visitors a 19-6 (120) to 15-13 (103) win.
For the Two Blues skipper James Musster was back to his brilliant best, while Sleight, on baller Harry Taylor, defender John Simonetta and John Robbins with 4-7 in his farewell match at Toorak Park all outstanding contributors.
The final game of the season for the Two Blues will be away to St Mary's Salesian on Saturday.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 3-4 8-7 13-8 15-13 ()103)
THERRY PENOLA 3-2 7-5 11-5 19-6 (120)
Goals: Robbins 4, Matherson, Sleight 3, Rogers, Slattery, Simonetta, Hogarth, Leske.
Best: Musster, Taylor, Simonetta, Sleight, Kerr, Robbins
The Two Blues are finals bound following a dominant win in a tough encounter v Therry Penola.
In what was virtually an elimination final the Two Blues overpowered the visitors in the second half to clinch third spot on the ladder. The Two Blues are now two games clear of fifth placed Therry Penola with one game left before the finals.
From the moment Therry Penola hit the front with a goal early in the third quarter the Two Blues lifted their rating and posted the final six goals of the match.
A new challenge awaits next Saturday v ladder leader St Mary's Salesian.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 1-2 3-4 5-7 9-9 (63)
THERRY PENOLA 2-1 3-1 4-4 4-6 (30)
Goals: Challis 3, Rice 2, Waters, Ancrum, Macdonald, Forbes.
Best: Challis, N Costin, Marmo, Frydman, Macdonald, Waters.