BATHURST Giants produced a brilliant fourth quarter of football in their AFL Central West opening round game with Dubbo Demons but the big problem was that the three quarters before it weren't near the same quality.
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For that reason the Giants came up two points shy of victory in a 8-7-55 to 7-11-53 result at George Park 1, as their five-goals-to-one final quarter wasn't quite enough to complete the comeback.
Giants coach Mark Kennedy said the team's brand of footy in the final quarter was excellent to watch but it took for too long for it to come online.
"We can't win games by playing just one quarter of football. It was an emotional game, since it was the Oscar Mann Memorial, and we had five new players into the side due to unavailabilities, but on Saturday it just wasn't our best," he said.
"We didn't make the most of centre clearances. We made a couple of silly mistakes and the ball also hit the post a couple of times, so it was just one of those ones that got away from us.
"I was pretty happy with that final quarter. We settled a bit, got the ball forward and used it well. I really thought we were in with a chance at that point, but they kicked one goal in the last quarter that just got out of our reach."
Dubbo dup Isaac Heath and Joe Hedger proved a handful in front of goal as they each kicked three majors.
The game was still in a manageable position for the Giants at half-time with the score at 2-4-16 to Dubbo's 5-4-34, but the Demons were able to extend the margin out a further nine points at the next break.
That failure to fire up after the main break would come back to bite the Giants, who were back to their best when there wasn't enough time remaining.
Kennedy said that with the wet ground sapping the speed from his team it was an admirable effort to fight back.
"The conditions didn't suit us, because we have the quick legs, and Dubbo had a big, solid size. We need to make sure that we adjust to those conditions. I thought we matched up well one-on-one but those bigger bodies were better suited to the conditions," he said.
"I must give a wrap to our backs. They were up against a lot of talls and our guys really stood up. Jacob Molkentin, Damien Cuff and Nic Broes, when he was back there, played really well.
"Our player's player, Bailey Brien, stood up as captain and led from the front. He kicked a crucial goal for us in the last quarter to keep us rolling over from the pocket. It was really well deserved."
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