THE finals aspirations of Camperdown’s senior football side came to an end on Saturday night after the Magpies fell to Hamilton Kangaroos in their round 15 fixture at Melville Oval.
Needing to win to remain in the hunt for a spot in the top five, the Magpies once again presented a strong challenge but could not capitalise on their opportunities in the 11.9 (75) to 7.12 (54) defeat.
The loss has now closed the door entirely on any finals hopes, with the Magpies falling 16 points behind fifth placed South Warrnambool with three games to play.
Despite the disappointment of losing, the Magpies again showed plenty of promise but were unable to sustain their performance throughout the contest.
They appeared to start the better of the two sides although they conceded the opening goal, with three late majors seeing the Magpies take a six point lead into quarter time.
The break appeared to halt the Magpies’ momentum in the second quarter however, as the Kangaroos kicked four unanswered goals to open up an 18 point break at half-time.
The Magpies were quick to respond when the second half resumed, with a couple of early goals putting them within 10 points.
But again Hamilton was quick to respond, with two late majors pushing their lead out to 27 points, the biggest of the game, at the final break.
The Magpies made a late charge in the final quarter but could not convert their opportunities, kicking several behinds as they dominated the first 20 minutes of the term.
But another late goal to Hamilton killed Camperdown’s hopes as the home side prevailed by 21 points at the final siren.
Will Rowbottom was named best on ground for Camperdown after working tirelessly in the ruck, while Luke Mahony was once again strong through the midfield.
Billy Arnold and Jason Robinson were both solid in defence for the visitors, while Matt Field provided plenty of run on the wing.
Bayley Thompson led the goal kickers with two, with Mahony, Rowbottom, Field, Eddie Lucas and Mitch Danahay all kicking singles.
The Magpies now have games against the Roosters, Portland (away) and Cobden (home) to finish the season.
Meanwhile, the reserves suffered a 40 point loss against the Kangaroos in what was a likely elimination final preview.
The home side’s win was set up in the opening quarter, with the Kangaroos keeping Camperdown goalless as they opened up a 19 point buffer.
That margin remained for the next three quarters, before four goals to one in the final term saw Hamilton triumph 11.8 (74) to 5.4 (34).
Dave Young continued his stellar season with a best afield display, while Devon Coates, Isaac Stephens, Luke Ball and Zavier Mungean also played well.
And the under 18.5s will play for top spot against the Roosters this weekend after they narrowly defeated Hamilton.
The home side got an early jump on the Magpies, kicking four goals to two in the opening term but the visitors hit back in the last three quarters.
They kicked three goals to one during that time to score a narrow 5.10 (40) to 5.8 (38) win, their 13th of the year.
Sid Bradshaw, Zach Sinnott, Jordan Loader, Toby Kent, Ethan Coates and Luke Ball were the best players.