A THRILLING final quarter surge from Glenrowan, and more specifically, big forward Nathan Carroll, just failed to get the Tigers over the line against Milawa in Saturday’s qualifying final.
The Tigers came back from a 31-point deficit at three quarter time, storming back into the contest on the back of some brilliant play in the middle of the ground from Jordon Bradley and Gus Gray, superb defence from the likes of Rory Cunningham, Nigel Robinson and Lachie Cohen, and the out and out strength of Carroll in attack.
Down and out with a quarter to play, the Tigers gathered momentum as the final quarter began, and Carroll was just the man to finish off the good work.
After struggling to make his mark on the game in the first three quarters, Carroll booted his first goal two minutes into the final stanza after out-marking opponent Scott Pell 40m out in the right forward pocket.
Three minutes later he nearly marked the ball on the goal line after a shot from Mitch Potts, only to get his boot to ball in a mad scramble at ground level that resulted in major number two.
The former Melbourne full back added a third after taking a diving mark 45m out at the eight minute mark – his subsequent shot just clearing the line to the dismay of Milawa’s defenders.
The Tigers had reduced what appeared an unreachable deficit to a mere 13 points, and there was plenty of time remaining.
When Jeremy Meek snapped truly 13 minutes in the margin was just seven points, and suddenly the Tigers looked like they would do what had seemed impossible.
But the Demons dug deep and showed the sort of resilience they have rarely had to call on this year, tightening up their midfield play and turning the game back into the slog it had been throughout the opening half.