Korumburra-Bena defender Willie Jeffs spoils Kilcunda-Bass forward Taylor Gibson at Bass on Sunday. N372417

KORUMBURRA-BENA has gone painfully close to pulling off a huge upset, going down by two points to Kilcunda-Bass at Bass on Sunday.
Playing for the Gary ‘Gus’ James Memorial Shield on a beyondblue awareness day, it was the Panthers who hit the ground running with the first three goals of the game, before the Giants nailed two goals to peg back the margin to six points at quarter time.
The home side started well again in the second term, but missed a couple of easy shots at goal.
The Giants were harassing and causing turnovers, with youngster Josh Hill shining.
Up forward, Sam Edwards was making the most of opportunities and looked dangerous.
The Giants had the first goal of the term on the board before Luke James marked and kicked a steadying goal for the Panthers.
But the Giants hit back with two late goals to lead by seven points at half time.
The two sides continued to fight it out after half time, with Brent Macaffer, Mitch Golby and Chris Endres finding plenty of the footy for the home side, while Johnny Ayama, Luke Van Rooye and Willie Jeffs were holding strong in defence for the Giants.
With three goals apiece for the term, the Giants held on to a six-point buffer at three-quarter time.
The last quarter was a thriller, with Kilcunda-Bass kicking away to a 10-point lead, before the Giants fought back hard.
The Giants worked hard to edge back the lead and goaled in the dying stages to get within two points.
But the siren sounded moments later for an agonisingly close defeat, following a one-point loss to Koo Wee Rup in round seven, an eight-point loss to Cora Lynn in round five and a five-point win over Bunyip in round six.
The Giants continue to show promising signs this season and will no doubt trouble many teams in the back half of the year.
Sam Edwards finished with six majors in a fine performance up forward, while midfielder Ben Fitzpatrick won the beyondblue medal.
Taylor Gibson booted three goals for the winners and provided a strong target all day.
The Panthers host Koo Wee Rup this week in what should be a ripping contest, while the Giants travel to Inverloch to face the ladder leaders in another challenge.