Swifts let go of a golden opportunity to take four points against one of the Horsham District league’s top teams on Saturday, falling short against Kalkee.
The Baggies hosted the second-placed Kees in what loomed to be an intriguing contest between sides likely to go far in September.
Swifts went down by a disappointing 85 points when the sides met earlier in the season, giving the home side a point to prove.
They came out and showed much more competitive spirit, kicking ahead to a crucial three-goal lead at half-time in difficult conditions.
“Some people were saying the match didn’t mean anything but the boys came out and proved them wrong at early on,” Swifts coach Scott Carey said.
The Kees hit back after the main break but still trailed by 10 points going into the final term.
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It was in the penultimate quarter when the visitors showed their class and why they are placed second on the ladder, kicking seven unanswered goals to run away with a 15.13 (103) to 10.11 (71) win.
“That is the second time we have been in a winning position but fallen short against a top two side this season,” Carey said.
“We obviously are happy with the fact we were in a winning position but if we want to be taken seriously this season those are the moments you have to find something extra.
“Sides like Kalkee find a way when the going gets tough which we need to take note of.”
Hamish Exell was crucial in helping the visitors pinch the come from behind win, while Jayden Kuhne led the way up front with three majors.
Damon Folkes recaptured some of his best attacking form for the Baggies, kicking four goals as their best player to take his tally yo 21 for the season.
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“Damon was a real linchpin early on, kicking some miraculous goals from the pocket,” Carey said.
“He made the boys follow him which is what you want from your captain.
“Blake Swain did a great job rotating through the ruck. I thought it was his best game of the year.”
With just one round remaining, Swifts cannot finish anywhere other than fourth or fifth on the ladder, setting up an elimination final with Edenhope-Apsley.
The Kees booked themselves a top two spot with the win and a subsequent week off in the first round of the finals. They can steal the minor premiership if they win their final match and Jeparit-Rainbow upsets Harrow-Balmoral next weekend.