A SPECTACULAR comeback from Beaufort saw the Crows claim a one-point victory over Clunes in a thriller.
Veteran Aaron Bones celebrated his 200th game in the ultimate fashion, helping his team claw its way back from a 31-point deficit and ultimately overrun the shell-shocked Magpies.
It was all Clunes in the first half. The Magpies tackled and harassed Beaufort with exceptional ferocity, constantly forcing their opponents into making mistakes.
However, their inability to convert in front of goal left the door open.
Like all good teams, Beaufort took advantage. Three goals in four minutes to open the third quarter brought the Crows right back into the contest and within a mere goal at the last change.
It took until the eighth minute of the final term, but a snap goal from forward Tom Blackford gave the Crows the lead.
Consecutive goals from Beaufort’s Ash George and Will Hooper threatened to put Clunes away, but the Magpies refused to give up, as a late goal from forward Jimmy Rodgers brought them within a point.
In the end, the siren came too early for the Magpies and the perfect moment for Beaufort.
It was a fantastic victory for the Crows, who displayed admirable resilience. An all-round team performance was bookended by forward Blackford (three goals) and defender Rhys Otto.
It was also fitting that milestone man Bones was the best player on the ground, his speed and evasiveness turning the Magpies’ defence inside-out.
Coach Nick Franc was proud of his team’s ability to grind out a win for the 32 year-old. “It was really pleasing for ‘Azza’,” he said.
“He’s such a loyal bloke and to reward him with a win was great.”
For Clunes, it was simply a missed opportunity. To dominate an entire half yet fail to come away with the four points will no doubt leave the Magpies seething.
On a positive note, bullocking midfielder Jason Hill continued his excellent start to the season, while utility Jesse Baird kicked four majors for the second week in a row.
Coach Rick Andrews lamented his team’s inability to maintain its effort for the entire game.
Beaufort 11.13 (79)
Clunes 11.12 (78)