LOSS: Josh Keilor cut a dejected figure after the final siren. Picture: Amy Paton
FOR a few moments in the final quarter, it felt as though Merrivale might be able to do the impossible.
The Tigers had trailed by 27 points at half-time and 25 at the final change, but with exciting youngsters Jyron Neave and Kyden Jarvis stepping up to provide a spark –and kicking vital goals –they slashed the deficit to just nine points.
But the ground they conceded to Nirranda in the first three quarters proved too much to conquer, and a late goal to Blue Jesse Dalton put the game out of reach.
Merrivale coach Karl Dwyer praised the way his charges tried to turn things around in the last.
“I was happy with the way the boys responded there –we didn’t throw the towel in,” he said.
“It probably took us three quarters to adjust to the conditions and play the game we wanted to.
“I said that to the boys out there:I was really proud of how they fought it out and,in the end,we could’ve nearly pinched it.
“But having said that, the better side won. They were too goodand we wish them all the best now for the rest of the season.”
The Tigers threw Scott Kelly back into his familiar role in defence in the fourth quarter and he attacked well from the back line, while veteran James Kelly and skipper Josh Sobey were also strong.
Dwyer said the focus for the Tigers now switches to rebuilding for next season.
“Hopefully a lot of the guys stick around and (we) pick up a few recruits and you’re right back up there again,” he said.“It’s about moving forward.”
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