The Windswept fields of Penleigh Essendon Grammar and a classier rival proved twin forces beyond Prahran Assumption in a frustrating day for all concerned on Saturday.
The gale force north wind meant skills were at a premium and the home ground advantage is surely the best in the VAFA Division 1 competition.
PEGS won the toss and within eight minutes had scored four goals in an ominous opening. But thanks to some errant kicking for goal and an improved Two Blues defensive mindset the quarter-time scored had progressed to just 5-8 to zero, a respectable deficit.
The Two Blues response was 4-2 to two points with a half-time margin a manageable 14 points.
PEGS took control with 5-9 to a point in a dominant third quarter finding a teammate with slick passes while the Two Blues constantly missed targets.
The Two Blues opened the last quarter with two quick goals through Alex Simpson and Harry Taylor but any chance of last term heroics was snuffed out when PEGS kicked the first goal into the wind for match.
Prahran Assumption added five goals for the last quarter, two from trademark Adam Sleight marks, but conceded four goals into the wind, the final two of the game the result of multiple 25m penalties.
Conceding 25m penalties seemed to be a contest between the two teams with PEGS chief offender until the collective brain fade in the final five minutes, rightly much to the ire of coach Ash Mills.
What promised to be an honourable defeat instead descended into a shambolic finale.
Captain James Musster, Taylor and Sleight were brave against the odds and among the Two Blues best.
Next Saturday the Two Blues return to Toorak Park to take on Brunswick North Old Boys St Pat's.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 0-0 4-2 4-3 9-4 (58)
PEGS 5-8 5-10 10-10 14-20 (104)
Goals: Taylor 3, Sleight, Simpson 2, Leske, Donahoo.
Best: Taylor, Sleight, Webb, Musster, Stocker, Donahoo.
PEGS on its home ground proved too strong for the Two Blues in a possible finals preview.
The Two Blues dropped to fourth with fifth placed Old Geelong just a game behind but with a much superior percentage and a softer draw playing three teams out of the finals race.
By contrast the Two Blues clash with top of the ladder St Mary's in the final round, with the season defining match looming v third placed Therry Penola on Saturday week.