NOTHING could separate the top two sides of the West Gippsland competition after four quarters of tough and skilful footy on Saturday, with Inverloch-Kongwak and Dalyston playing out a tense draw at Inverloch.
The two sides were neck and neck throughout the contest before Dalyston’s Travis Krause swooped and goaled in time-on to give the Magpies a seven-point buffer.
The Magpies looked to have done enough, before a rushed behind off hands brought the Sea Eagles within a goal.
The home side continued to push and 30 seconds later speedy midfielder Corey Casey proved to be the hero, spinning and turning before kicking a brilliant goal to level the scores.
The two sides fought out the final two minutes, but neither side could land the knockout blow and the siren sounded after a marathon quarter that lasted 29 minutes and 50 seconds, with the scores level at 13.10 (88) apiece.
The two sides had to be content with sharing two points each, and remain on equal points at the top of the ladder, with the Sea Eagles playing one extra match for the season.
The draw was the Magpies’ first blemish of the season and they are yet to record a loss.
Earlier, there was little between the two sides at quarter time as Dalyston held a four-point lead, thanks largely to two majors from Matt Rosendale, who was providing a strong target across half forward.
Tom Bartholomew was a welcome addition to the Sea Eagles’ side for his first game and is set to add another dimension to the forward line, but they missed star midfielder Josh Purcell as well as utility Dylan Clark, who has been missing for a few weeks.
The Sea Eagles took the honours in the second term with five goals to two, led by dangerous forward Tom Wyatt who slotted two goals.
Shem Hawking was providing run and carry for the home side, while Andy Soumilas was winning the ball in close and also snuck forward for two majors to give the Sea Eagles a narrow five-point lead at half time.
The two sides traded blows in the third term, with Dalyston’s Kyle Kirk combining with ruckman Kurt Thomas throughout the contest to win the footy at stoppages and Inverloch-Kongwak’s Will Hetherington making the most of a move into the midfield.
With the Sea Eagles holding a nine-point lead at the last change it was anyone’s game, and in the end both sides will rue a number of missed chances to seal the win in the final term.
Dalyston’s Michael Kraska finished with four goals and had the better of Santo Joma, while Rosendale (three goals) and Chris Graham were lively in the forward half.
Inverloch-Kongwak’s Wyatt booted four goals and Tom Hams had another solid outing.
The Sea Eagles will face another tough contest at Phillip Island this week, while Dalyston returns home for another challenge against Cora Lynn.
Full football coverage in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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