SUNDAY saw Ky Black take on the ladder leader Mooroopna in a high quality game of football at the Kyabram Recreation Reserve.
Ky won the toss and chose to kick with a strong breeze in an intense first quarter which set the tone for the afternoon.
While Ky had the pressure on early it was Mooroopna who scored the opening two goals.
Cooper Vick then made a clean break from the centre to deliver the ball to Ethan Palma-Ludemann on a lead to score Ky’s first for the afternoon.
The Ky boys were defending well, led down the back by Wez Hill and Ryan Cox.
The usually dominant Mooroopna forwards weren’t having it all their own way, and the run provided from the backline and ball use through the centre allowed Brenton Brasier to score Ky’s second major for the afternoon.
At quarter time, 6 points down and facing a stiffening wind the Kyabram coaches urged their team to lift the intensity and the boys responded.
The chasing and tackling all around the ground showed their opposition this wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon.
Ky’s first goal of the second quarter started in defence, with quick ball movement down the wing and a clever pass from Jack Dunn to Ethan Palma-Ludemann allowing him to score.
Another goal a minute later to Tom Burnett — who while being taken to ground under pressure from three Mooroopna defenders — managed to get boot to ball and bounce it through for a major and scores were back to level.
Kyabram’s defence all around the ground was a highlight but a couple of game turning tackles to Charlie McCormick and Matt Flemming against bigger opponents lifted the intensity of the whole team.
Three more goals to Ky in the quarter and they were only one point down at half-time.
In the third quarter it was once again Mooroopna who scored early but Ky responded.
With Mitch Gugliotti as competitive as always and Cooper Vick strong overhead and reading the play well the Mooroopna side were never allowed to make a big break.
A goal to Ethan Palma-Ludemann and a second to Brenton Brasier kept Ky in touch.
Whenever the intensity of the game lifted, Ky responded to the challenge.
In the final seconds of the third quarter a free kick for deliberate out of bounds against Mooroopna resulted in a kick after the siren, which threaded through the goals to leave Ky three points down at the final change.
In the final term both sides had their chances to seal the game but it was Mooroopna that ran out winners by four points.
While the Kyabram boys were understandably devastated to come so close and fall short they have shown everyone and most importantly themselves that if they play for four quarters as a team then they are one of the best sides in this competition.
Goals: Ethan Palma-Ludemann 7, Brenton Brasier 2, Tom Burnett 2.
Best: Wez Hill, Cooper Vick, Ethan Palma-Ludemann, Liam Dillon, Ryan Cox, Alex George.