A GALLANT final-quarter comeback from Dimboola was not enough to claim the reserves premiership against Horsham on Saturday.
The Roos went from 39 points down at three-quarter-time to get within one point of a miraculous victory.
It was a Mathew Everett-inspired revival, with the 34-year-old a deserved winner of the best on ground medal.
Glenn Ross and David Elliot were strong up forward with three goals apiece, while Shanan Baker stood tall in the ruck.
Horsham’s best included eight-time premiership power forward David Johns, who kicked a game-high four majors, Joel Ladlaw was dominant in the ruck, while Jeremy Hartigan and Terry Arnel also played their roles well.
Horsham coach Darren Patterson said the likes of Guy Smith, Hayden Kemp, Cullen Williams, Harry Wentworth and Jason Willis stood up when it counted.
Patterson paid tribute to Dimboola’s never-say-die attitude.
“They’ve been sensational all season and we’ve enjoyed playing against them,” he said.
“They’re a great club and a great team.”
The opening quarter was a tight affair, with Horsham getting out to a 13-point lead at the first change.
Nick Thomson was busy early and Josh Pekin kicked two first-quarter goals.
All eyes were on Johns, and after a quiet first term by his standards, he slotted his first major through just after quarter-time.
The Demons’ lead got out to as much as 19 points midway through the second term before a Roos surge got them back in the game.
Dimboola kicked two of the next three goals to get within five points at half-time.
But it came at a cost, with Josh Kruger suffering a knee injury and playing no further part in the match.
The third quarter well and truly belonged to the Demons, with Johns booting three of his side’s six majors for the term.
But when the going got tough, Roos senior-experienced players Everett, Darren Jones and Luke Byrne all lifted a notch.
The Roos came from seemingly nowhere to come within reach of victory after kicking six out of seven last-quarter goals.
When Everett got Dimboola within three points during time-on, Horsham was concerned.
The Roos missed two difficult chances in the final minutes as the Demons held on by the skin of their teeth.