HAY proved at the weekend that there is little separating the Golden Rivers Football Netball League's top four football sides.
Despite a three-point loss at home to top side Nullawil, the fourth-placed Lions showed their mettle with a five goals to two last quarter to fall just short of the Maroons.
Just one game now separates first from fourth.
Regrettably, the gap between the top sides and teams on the bottom rungs is widening.
Second side, Wandella won the inaugural indigenous round Barapa Barapa Cup by downing Macorna by a massive 146 points. The lowly Tigers managed just one goal in the rout.
Ultima achieved a 142-point win over seventh side Quambatook, which also managed just one goal.
Moulamein demolished winless neighbour Wakool by 178 points.
Lions so close
NULLAWIL gained a third-quarter break on Hay after an even first half and the signs looked ominous with a 22-point margin at the last break.
A last-quarter blow-out failed to eventuate with a rejuvenated Lions outfit storming home. Two added points that could have been goals were the difference between victory and a slim loss.
Mitchell Farmer led the charge for the Maroons with a dominant display match long.
Kallen Heslop and Phillip Lobb each scored three goals for the Maroons and the Smiths, Rylee and Daniel, had positive support roles.
The margin at the first break was just one goal in the leaders' favour, extended to two at half way before Nullawil started to dominate around the ground.
Hay was trying to keep pace, but scoring was a difficulty.
The last quarter was a turning point in the game with the Lions getting better purchase on the ball and started troubling the scorer – and diminishing Nullawil's grip on the game.
Dustin Duggan and Joshua Dawson became key play-makers. McSweyn, Gash, Arandt and Aylett all chipped in with two majors.
Hay will be buoyed by its performance despite falling just short of victory.
Get more of your footy fix in today's edition of the Gannawarra Times.