The Cootamundra Blues have suffered their third loss this season, going down to a highly skilled ANU Griffins outfit on the weekend.
Despite the Blues showing some resiliency in the second half, the Griffins still ran out 15.7.97 to 8.7.55 winners.
Slow starts have plagued the Blues this season and Saturday's game was no different.
Most of the damage was done in the first half, with ANU slamming home goals at will and jumping out to a 9 goal lead by half time.
In response, Cootamundra could only offer a solitary major.
While they had an even share of the football, the Blues were wasteful with the ball and not prepared to work hard defensively.
If not for some desperate work from Max Tiernan and Will Reinhold, the scoreline could've been far greater.
After assistant coach Zac Oliver stripped the paint off the dressing room walls with his half time spray, the Blues came out for the second half looking like a different side.
Lifting their intensity and work rate, the Blues kicked 5 goals to 1 for the quarter to show some signs of life.
Throwing caution into the wind, coach Joe Scott threw Max Tiernan forward and Reinhold into the middle in an attempt to spark some life into a flat Blues outfit.
The changes worked wonders with Tiernan providing a huge target up forward and Reinhold providing a physically dominating presence across the middle of the ground.
Both were rewarded with quality goals for their efforts.
After a quiet first half by his own high standards, Aaron Basham took it upon himself to lift his teammates.
asham's physicality in every contest, coupled with his repeat efforts inspired his side to lift.
With the recovery mission only half complete, the Blues needed to lift again to complete a historic comeback.
Despite kicking the first goal of the final quarter and reducing the margin to just 24 points, ANU steadied the ship and kicked the next 4 to put the nail in the Blues coffin.
Despite the result, Oliver produced one of his best performances of the year and left everything he had on the paddock.
Jacob Tiernan also turned in another impressive four quarter effort.
Dylan McDermott was also back to his best, winning plenty of football and finishing with an impressive 3 goal haul despite playing in the midfield.
Goals: McDermott 3, La.Webb 1, M. Tiernan 1, Reinhold 1, A.Maskell-Knight 1, Mazzocchi 1.
PK's best: W.Reinhold, J.Tiernan, D.McDermott, Z.Oliver, M.Tiernan and A.Basham.
Despite the loss, the Blues managed to hang onto fourth spot with a few other results going their way.
This weekend's home game against Belconnen now becomes a must win if the Blues are to feature in this years finals.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.