KALKEE and Natimuk United played out a thriller on Saturday at Natimuk, with the Kees edging the Rams by just four points to register their fourth win of the season.
There was very little separating the two sides after the first quarter, with Kalkee up by two points. With the two teams sitting third and fourth on the ladder heading into the round, it was always going to be a close contest.
Kalkee kicked four goals to two in the second quarter to set up a slight buffer, leading by three goals at the half time break.
Simon Hobbs led the way for the Kees throughout the day, kicking three goals and was named best on ground for his side.
The Kees continued to press on in the third quarter, kicking another four goals to two and taking a 31-point lead heading into the fourth term.
Despite being down by five goals, Natimuk United lifted and worked its way back into the contest.
A huge last quarter from Nathan Koenig, who finished the game with six goals, helped the Rams kick 6.6 to 2.3 in the final quarter.
The Rams fell agonisingly short of claiming an epic come from behind victory, losing 12.12 (84) to 12.8 (80).
Natimuk United playing coach Sam Anson said it was a painful loss.
“I gave them a speaking to at three quarter time and then they wanted to play in the final quarter,” he said.
“It was a shame it was so late and that third quarter cost us. They kicked about four unanswered goals and that really hurt us. It was a 10 minute lapse.”
Anson said his side matched it with Kalkee for much of the game.
“It was pretty close all game, just that third quarter really hurt us,” he said.
“They had 10 minutes in that quarter where they were on top. We were nowhere near a full-strength side, but I was still more than confident in the side we had. We had a kick with about a minute to go and it took the paint off the post and that would have put us in front, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“The back line worked really well. They had a lot of forward entries and we stopped a power of goals coming through. We had a few players who had an off day and that hurts a bit, but that happens. We will need to readjust and talk about it as a coaching staff. The bye has come at a perfect time, we have a few niggling injuries.”
Kalkee co-coach Stuart Farr said his side was not at its best.
“Full credit to Natimuk United but we only played one good quarter and we are very disappointed with how we played,” he said.
“We were a bit flat all day and a lot of people had bad days.
“It was a good wake up call and it’s good to scrape through for the four points. We didn’t deserve it in the end, but we will take it and learn from it.
“They were quite hard to stop in the last quarter.”
Farr said Hobbs was easily the best on ground for his side.
“Simon Hobbs was a standout but there probably weren’t many others,” he said.
“We only named five best on ground as we couldn’t name six who had solid games. We just weren’t quite mentally on and it was a pretty ordinary day for us.
“We need to get everyone on the track now the next two weeks and sharpen up on our skills and decision making before the Swifts game.”