A SPIRITED second half from Mininera and District Football League was not enough to deliver a fairytale win in its first interleague match in many years.
Matched up against Golden Rivers Football League, it was a big occasion for Mininera.
It marked its return to interleague after years of eschewing the competition, and it was the first time it had competed in the Victorian Country Football League country championships.
Anticipation was high for the clash at Lake Bolac, but Mininera's start put it on the back foot from the beginning.
One scoring shot a goal was all Mininera could manage, and it was lucky to be only 16 points down when Golden Rivers booted 3.4.
Another single goal was all the home side could muster in the second quarter, while Golden Rivers kicked away to a 42-point halftime advantage.
Mininera shifted up a gear after half-time and finally started making inroads on the scoreboard.
It kicked 4.5 to the visitors' 2.2 in the third term, and could have given itself a real chance to get back in the match if not for some inaccurate goal-kicking.
The sides went goal-for goal in the last quarter to see Golden Rivers eventually emerge with a 15.10 (100) to 10.7 (67) win.
Former Horsham RSL Digger and current Tatyoon player Damien Cameron starred for Mininera and received a VCFL medal as his team's best player.
Paul Messer was named Golden Rivers' best after a monster nine-goal haul.
Cameron was one of two former Diggers to play for Mininera, with Kye Chapple also taking the field.
Great Western's Lachie Malloy was his team's sole representative.
Tom Taurau from Ararat was unable to take his place in the team after being called up for his debut with the North Ballarat Rebels in TAC Cup competition.
Mininera league president Ruth Brain could not be reached for comment before the Mail-Times went to press.