It was a top-of-the-table clash many were eagerly awaiting as Barooga took on Nathalia in the Murray Football League on Saturday.
Despite a late charge during the game, the Hawks couldn’t quite match the Purples, who were flying high on their home ground.
The Hawks kept Nathalia goal-less in the second quarter while booting five of their own to take a two-goal lead at the main break.
Play remained even in the third term, with both teams taking eight goals into the break and a slight lead for the Hawks, but a four-goal final quarter saw the Purples take the lead at the final siren, 12.13(85) to 9.14(68).
Spiro Vourgaslis was the major scorer for the Hawks, booting three, while Will Gorman, Ricky Thompson, Matt Demaio, Tom Wilkinson, Brodie A’Vard and James Hazelman chipped in as well.
Thompson and Hazelman’s work earned them best-on-ground nods, along with strong performances from Callum Leighton-Daly, Cam Sandral, Riley Brooks and Billy Andrew.
Next week, the Hawks will be looking to bounce back against Echuca United, which is sitting fifth on the ladder after a win against Deniliquin.
The match will be a special affair for the Hawks, with co-coach James Hazelman set to celebrate his 200th senior game for Barooga.
●Cobram also showed a late-game resurgence in its match against Moama, but it wasn’t quite enough to get the Tigers over the line in their round nine encounter.
A sluggish start saw Cobram kick one goal in the first quarter to the Magpies’ four, but a run in the second and third quarters saw them only trailing by 13 points at the final break.
Two goals to Moama in the final term to Cobram’s one sealed the win, 12.19(91) to 10.13(73).
Tyron Baden booted two majors for Cobram, supported by scoring shots from Ben Ryan, Dan Fitzpatrick, Tim Cantrill, Daniel Clarke, Tom Scott, Darcy McCormack, Mitch Sim and Sam Gemmill.
Baden and Ryan earned themselves best-on-ground nods for their perfomances, along with Mitch Richmann, Sam Beasley, Nic Hoban and Scott Spencer.
This week, the Tigers will be hoping to take a win when they take on Rumbalara at Scott Oval.