IT couldn’t have been any closer at the finish – but Beechworth Bushrangers’ AFL under 14s have won the under 14 Tallangatta and District Football Netball League premiership for 2017.
In the last moments of the game an Adam Walker shot on goal fell short and Thurgoona quickly punched the ball away from any Beechworth hands inside a dangerous Bushranger forward line.
The ball hit the post and before it had returned to the ground the siren sounded and the game was deemed a draw.
That last point saved Beechworth, with the Bushrangers then able to fight out another two five-minute halves to determine the winner.
It was in those last 10 minutes of play that Beechworth was able to lift their standard of play and skip out to a 13-poiont win – with the final score 5.4 (34) to 3.3 (21).
“The boys knew that they hadn’t played well all game,” Beechworth coach Bill McLaughlin said.
“They weren’t as clean over the ball like they normally are and that was because of the pressure that Thurgoona were applying to us.
“I knew as soon as we switched on that we would win, it took us until extra time to do it.
“But they never gave up, they moved the ball forward as much as they could; you could never question their endeavour; it is a great feeling.
“That was the best 10 minutes of football we have played at the end of the normal game, we saved our best for last.”
Harry Guthrie was awarded the best on ground medal for his role during the game.