Euroa has threatened Kyabram’s undefeated mantle for the second season in a row.
After falling just seven points short last season, the Magpies arrived at Kyabram Recreation Reserve with plenty of intent for the Saturday night showdown.
This time falling 11 points short, Euroa coach JD Hayes took plenty from the loss.
‘‘We tested them that’s for sure, so I’m proud of our efforts, unfortunately we just had a few opportunities and didn’t take them,’’ he said.
‘‘We felt that they came out all guns blazing and really took it up to them... they’re a quality side and I think the boys were quite admirable.
‘‘They’ve (Kyabram) got such good structures, they just know how to win.’’
Catching the Bombers off guard early, Hayes’ charges went on a goal-kicking frenzy and snared the first three of the game.
But as always Kyabram stayed composed and Kyle Mueller slotted his side’s first goal of the match in a starring game for the young star.
Mueller was superb in the forward line, attacking every loose ball as he finished with a bag of five majors.
‘‘He was excellent again... we kicked exceptionally well and at the end of the day that’s the difference in the game,’’ Kyabram coach Paul Newman said.
Euroa maintained a seven-point lead at quarter-time, but a drop off in the second meant they were kept scoreless as Kyabram converted, despite the wind. The Bombers did not miss a scoring shot until the third quarter, working until being in the ideal spot to take a kick.
The home side moved 26 points ahead at the main change, but there was plenty to come from the Magpies, led by Hayes.
He sailed through the first goal of the third quarter to rev up the side, and with two more goals coming within moments there was an opportunity for the Magpies to carry the momentum and sail into the lead.
But as they so often do, Kyabram would have the last say of the quarter.
‘‘We always talk about our defence and when the chips are down they find something and stick with that and grind their way back into the game and winning ugly is sometimes important to do,’’ Newman said.
With Hayes lining up for goal while a melee ensued, the kick was reversed and Hayes never had the opportunity to bring his side within a kick of the lead.
Instead, the Bombers responded via Mueller, who sent through the final goal of the third term.
Exactly as he started the third, Hayes kicked the first goal of the final quarter, but a miss minutes later had the playing coach with hands on his head.
Lachie Smith took to the field for the first time this year and his incredible marking ability came to the fore in the final quarter as Kyabram secured its 44th consecutive win.
Nick Coulstock and young gun Brad Whitford were prominent, while Euroa’s Will McFarlane made an impact across the ground.
Round 13 at Memorial Oval will be a game circled for Euroa, as the blossoming rivalry continues to heat up.