CAMPERDOWN missed a golden opportunity to strengthen its grip on a coveted double chance when it was overrun by Hamilton on Saturday.
The Magpies controlled terms for the majority of the match and appeared headed for their 10th win of the season at three quarter time before the Roos struck.
The Kangaroos stormed home in the final quarter, kicking seven goals, including four to Tyrone Ross, to record a 16.10 (106) to 14.15 (99) victory.
Earlier, the Magpies had pushed themselves out to an early lead after Hamilton booted the first goal of the game, kicking four goals to three in the opening term to hold a five-point advantage.
Camperdown’s lead was extended to 13 at half-time as the home side had most of the play in the second term but kicked 5.6, keeping the Kangaroos in the contest.
Camperdown again had the upper hand on the scoreboard in the third term, booting three goals to two to hold a 22-point lead heading into the last quarter.
Hamilton reduced the margin to 16 points just minutes into the final term before the Magpies responded to restore their advantage.
But the Kangaroos kept coming, as both Ross and Darcy Russell started to exert their influence on the contest, leading the visitors to their first ever win over Camperdown.
Luke Clarke kicked a goal and was named Camperdown’s best player in his first senior game since round six.
Clarke had proven he was a class above in his stint with the reserves and was prominent for the Magpies through the midfield and across half forward, winning plenty of clearances and generating opportunities for his forwards.
Sam Cunnington and Phil Carse also played well in the midfield and up forward, while Mitch Danahay, Jack Williams and Jason Robinson were solid in defence.
Carse finished with three goals for the day, while Luke Mahony, Fraser Lucas, Ben Reid and Billy Arnold each kicked two, with Cunnington and Isaac Stephens also hitting the scoreboard.
The loss closed the Magpies’ gap in third position to eight points with Camperdown now facing a crunch game this weekend against South Warrnambool.
The outcome of the contest could go some way to determining the make-up of the top three, with a Magpies victory effectively all but assuring them a double chance.
In the reserves, over 600 senior games worth of experience was injected into the team when a quartet of the club’s former players donned the black and white guernsey in a 17.9 (111) to 4.6 (30) defeat.
Darren Cheeseman (201 games), Troy Stephens (201), Stephen Sinnott (155) and Dale Wills (79) all played for the side along with senior runner and team manager Mick Hassett.
The added experience however was not enough to help an undermanned Magpies side against the more fancied Kangaroos outfit as they went down by 81 points.
Wills wound back the clock with a best on ground effort, while Dave Young, Dan Hickey and Charlie Brett played well.
Cheeseman also finished in the best players, controlling proceedings on the scoreboard wing for the majority of the game.
In the under 18.5s, a goalless first half compounded Camperdown’s woes against the Kangaroos as they suffered a 12.14 (86) to 3.8 (26) defeat.
Hamilton kicked eight unanswered goals in the opening two quarters to establish a comfortable 54-point lead at the main break.
Camperdown was more competitive in the second half, restricting the Roos to four goals while kicking three of their own as they went down by 60 points.
Zavier Mungean, Toby Kent, Luke Bone, Isaac Fowler, Sid Bradshaw and Josh Bone were the Magpies’ best in the defeat.
The under 16s produced one of their better performances for the season in a 44-point loss to the Kangaroos.
The Magpies were able to stay with the top placed Hamilton side for much of the match, going down 10.17 (77) to 5.3 (33).
Angus Gordon kicked three goals to be best on ground, alongside Hayden Brett, Hamish Sinnott, Dom Absalom, Toby Fleming and Josh Place.
The last game of the season for the under 16s and under 14s will be this Sunday against South Warrnambool at home, while the senior sides face the Roosters at Friendly Societies Park on Saturday.