A BRAVE Sunbury side conceded the last five goals of the game to go down to Redan by 21 points in a highly charged match at City Oval on Saturday.
Putting on a gallant show in the wake of the tragedy that saw respected club members Albert and Marie Rizk killed on the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight, Sunbury were spirited in defeat, with Redan winning 11.9 (75) to 8.6 (54).
In a highly entertaining match, the Eastern Lions threatened to steal the result, leading by as much as 18 points half way through the third term.
Emotions were running high for Sunbury, with the mood in the rooms somber before the match and even at half time, despite the visitors holding a 10-point lead at the main break.
In a brilliant third quarter of footy in which nine goals were kicked, the maroon and gold kicked the last three majors to take a one-goal lead, and importantly all the momentum, into the last break.
Tempers threatened to boil over at points at times, with both sides engaging in push and shove that almost broke out in a melee.
Damien Horbury was thrown forward despite playing down back for most of the year and steered the Western Lions home in the last term, kicking the only two goals of the quarter, while Sunbury was scoreless.
For Sunbury, Jake Steeper, Adam Short and Jesse Flannery were named among the best, with Flannery kicking two goals in the second quarter.
Redan debutant Pat Fitzgibbons kicked his side's first two goals for the game, while Brett Dickinson, Grant Bell and Ash Barker were on top throughout the day.
ELSWHERE, Darley regained bragging rights in the battle of the 'Marsh, beating cross-town rivals Bacchus Marsh by 53 points at Maddingley Park.
Reigning Henderson Medalist Jake Edwards kicked a stunning nine goals in a simply dominant display for the Devils, with the likes of Anthony Chiu, Shane Page and Rhys Ellis more than effective in support.
For Bacchus Marsh, coach Cam Richardson fought hard to get his side over the line and was named best on ground for the Cobras.
Alec Del Papa continued his great form for the season, with Mitchell Suban and Ben Peters also battled hard.
The final quarter proved the ultimate difference in the end, with Darley kicking seven goals to run out 18.8 (116) to 8.15 (63) winners.
IN THE other cross-town rivalry, Melton blew rivals Melton South out of the water in the final term on the way to its 17.13 (115) to 8.10 (58) victory.
In a match that was close for three quarters, the Bloods kicked seven goals to one in the last quarter to run out 57-point winners.
Liam Carter was a contender for best on ground with four goals for Melton, while Dillon Sharp and Jarryd Ramsay were also among the best.
AND in the final match for the day, Lake Wendouree proved too good for Sebastopol at Eastern Oval, winning by 51 points.
Andrew Casey was a clear best on ground through the midfield, adding four goals to the Lakers score.
Michael Madden had arguably his best game for the year for the Lakers, Ben Hayes and Andrew Ciavarella continued their good form and Andrew Pitson was also good.
For Sebastopol, youngtsers Ben McLeod and Toby Hutt were again good, while Leeroy Sheridan continued to shine at senior level.
Ballarat hosts North Ballarat City on Sundya in one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the season to date.