The fight for the 2021 Bendigo Bank Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League minor premiership is tightening at the top after teams returned to the field in round 12 following the SA Country Championships bye.
Just one game splits the top four on the ladder – Keith, Kingston, Mundulla and Padthaway – as the fight intensifies with just five rounds to go.
Two of the big boys faced off in a classic encounter on Saturday which went down to the final siren.
Having conceded a 21-point lead in the first term, Kingston was staring down the barrel of just its third loss of the year against Mundulla.
However, the hosts rallied in the second term to bring the game back to even terms with four quick goals.
Just one point split the rivals heading into the second half and scoring became a challenge.
The Tigers clawed ahead, but could have made a much bigger impact on the scoreboard missing six of their eight scoring shots in the third term.
Mundulla’s inaccuracy in front of goal left Kingston armed with the scoring end in the last quarter a deficit of just nine points to chase down.
Chad Wood, Jacob Fisher and Brock Kennedy all stood up for the Saints with multiple goals to keep the home side in the hunt during the entertaining finale.
But at the same time the Tigers also attacked the goals and a bag of three from Darcy King kept the lead intact.
After a nail-biting finish, Mundulla held on by just two points to move up to equal second on the ladder.
It was also a tense afternoon at Naracoorte where a gutsy Penola team punched above its weight and almost pulled off a miraculous comeback.
Despite recording five scoring shots in the first term, the Eagles missed them all to give the Demons a 17-point head start.
Thanks to the fine efforts of Brad Bryant and Brad Crabb, Penola fought back in the second term and pulled the deficit back to single figures.
But the last rites were looming for the Eagles, who had their wings clipped as Naracoorte stamped its authority on the game after half time.
Three unanswered goals pushed the Demons to apparent safety as Penola only managed two behinds in the third term.
Joshua Gregg, Rory Taggert and Keenan Jacobs were the main perpetrators, but the visitors had one final say.
The Eagles swooped home and chopped the 28-point deficient down to a single kick during a late charge, but in the end fell six points short.
Other premiership contenders Keith and Padthaway had a much easier time chalking up wins.
A fast start led the Crows to a 113-49 victory over Bordertown, while Kybybolite was no match for the Lions, who won by an even 100 points.
The Kowree Naracoorte Netball Association action was headlined by a thrilling climax to the Naracoorte v Penola bout.
A less than full strength Eagles team without shooter April Possingham had to rely on A Reserve players backing up for their second stint on the court and received a huge scare.
After giving up a four-goal lead in the first term, Penola slowly chipped away and by the final break the scoreboard was all tied up.
Georgia Winter and Ash Earl presented themselves well in the goal circle, while coach Kaitlin Egan and Maddy Teakle stood up when it mattered.
A couple of key turnovers put the Eagles in front and after a nail-biting finish, they held on by a single goal to secure an ugly win.
Bordertown could only keep up with Keith for one quarter as the Crows ran out 27-goal victors, while Kyby easily disposed of Padthaway.
All Border Districts v Lucindale fixtures were can- celled due to latest border closures and as a result game match ratio will decide the ladder positions.