THE race for the top two remains wide open after Redan and Sunbury played out a thrilling draw at Clarke Oval today.
In the most entertaining match of the Ballarat Football League season to date, it was Sunbury spearhead Simon Clarke that saved the match for his side, booting a goal with just one minute to go.
With so much on the line for both sides, the match had looked over just minutes earlier when Redan's Mitch Phelps roved and snapped his fifth goal for the match to extend the margin to seven points, with his side boosted by the breeze at their backs.
However what happened next down the opposite end of the ground proved decisive.
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Redan's Ben Schiltz marked the ball just metres inside the Sunbury goal line, with his momentum carrying him through the points.
He then played on but ran back through the goals, meaning a rushed behind resulted in just one goal separating the sides.
After a few tense passages of play, Simon Clarke gathered at centre half forward before wheeling around to kick the equalising goal with just one minute remaining.
Sunbury ruckman Pat Cariss had just taken a mark when the final siren sounded, although he was about 80 metres from goal.
He unrealistically tried a torpedo, although his kick never threatened to trouble the scorers.
The match finished with Sunbury recording more scoring shots - the final scoreboard reading 12.15 (87) to 13.9 (87).
The result sees Sunbury remain just one game and four percentage points ahead of Redan in the battle for the double chance.
Sunbury can cement a top two finish next week against North Ballarat City, while Redan will go in overwhelming favourites against Melton.
Speaking after the match, Sunbury coach Rick Horwood said the draw almost felt like a win, given his side looked out of the game in the dying moments.
He said he remained upbeat about his side's chances to finish top two, with the outcome still firmly in his side's hands.
For the maroon and gold, coach Eammon Gill told his players not to be disheartened and that they now knew they could match it with the reigning premiers.
In other BFL matches today, North Ballarat City allowed Ballarat just one goal each quarter to win 11.19 (85) to 4.4 (28).
Lake Wendouree was easy 50 point winners over Sebastopol, Darley got the job done by 49 points over Melton and Bacchus Marsh recorded a 67-point trouncing of Melton South.