IT WAS a credit to MDU that they took this match right up to Dalyston on Saturday, coming out of the blocks strongly with a four goal to three first quarter.
And not, as they have done in the past few weeks, give up the ghost when headed as the game progressed.
In fact, after Dalyston hit back in the second quarter, MDU came on strongly again, stringing five unanswered goals together in the third term; to Josh Swift, Jake McMillan, Josh Swift again, Michael Olden and Jacob Laskey and at that stage they really looked like the team most likely to succeed.
But, as he has done so often, big Brad Fisher went forward and wrapped his ‘buckets’ around a big grab close to goal with only 15 seconds remaining in the quarter.
His goal on the siren gave Dalyston the lift they needed as they went to the final huddle and they went on with it in the last quarter, peppering the goals for plenty of points, but also three goals, to take the four points by 10 points.
But it was a hugely improved effort by the Demons after some disappointing efforts in recent weeks.
Dalyston’s lack of potency up forward could be explained in part by the changes made with Brett Thornton out.
But MDU showed commitment and flare in the fine, cold conditions at Dalyston and they were the ones that made a game of it.
The Demons started out well with goals to Laskey and Hutcheson, running on to the loose ball and snagging one from 45m out.
They surprised the Pies with their vigour at the stoppages and it was only through a free kick that Dalyston broke the ice via Chris Graham who was one of few to put in a four-quarter effort for Dalyston.
The teams traded goals through to the end of the first term leaving MDU in front and fired up.
The Pies lifted in the second and with Graham having a purple patch, they got reward for effort, Graham with two goals and Matt Rosendale also with two, his second near the end of the quarter a ripper, when he took the ball off the pack at a boundary stoppage and snapped truly.
The third quarter was all MDU, book-ended by a goal to Osbaldeston and Fisher, the initial one also set up by Fisher.
The last quarter was dominated by a resurgent Dalyston as McKenna, West and Osbaldeston each kicked majors.
A late one, from a 50 metre penalty, by MDU’s Brendan Dillon was some consolation but you had to be happy with the Demons’ effort this week.
Full coverage of the weekend football in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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