SOMETIMES footy hurts.
The 22 players than ran out for Tyntynder on Saturday know that all too well as the Bulldogs came agonisingly close to snatching fifth spot in what would been a historic win.
Up against the mighty powerhouse Kerang, aware that anything less than a win would most likely see their season ended at the final siren, the Bulldogs put forward a stirring performance before being overrun in the final term.
Jay McDonald’s men led by 17 points late in the third quarter, but a goal on the three-quarter-time siren to Bronson Booth appeared to be the boost that the Blues needed, piling on four goals in the last quarter to snatch a 10-point win.
Against a side that has been brushing sides aside with ease in recent weeks, and had also done a number on them earlier in the year, Tyntynder didn’t appear fazed by the occasion and can hold their heads high.
Swan Hill’s 62-point win at Balranald added salt into the wounds for the Bulldogs with that result seeing the Swans climb to fifth spot at the expense of their arch rivals.
An emotional Reece Collins gathered his side together following the narrow defeat and implored his side to stick together and use the pain as motivation to launch into 2018.
With the two results confirming the makeup of the final ladder, the competition is now down to five teams with only one of Nyah Nyah West United and Swan Hill to survive beyond next weekend.
Incredibly, despite the Blues appearing almost a sure thing to take out another minor premiership, had the Dogs held on at the Alan Garden Reserve, the Blues would have found themselves in a qualifying final against Mallee Eagles next weekend.
Woorinen’s 121-point demolition of Cohuna Kangas saw their percentage fly past Kerang’s, but the Blues finished a win clear with a 15-1 record.