Kilmore senior captain Leigh Irons leads the way for the Blues against Mernda on Saturday at JJ Clancy Reserve.

By Jordyn Grubisic

A rough second quarter for Kilmore in its Northern Football Netball League, NFNL, division three match against Mernda saw the Blues suffer a 20-point loss at home.

In a low-scoring match at JJ Clancy Reserve, the final scoreline was Kilmore 8.7 (55) to second-placed Mernda 11.9 (75).

It was a close contest in the first quarter, with Mernda kicking the first goal, followed the Blues scoring a major to make it a four-point game.

Kilmore’s second quarter had them behind the eight-ball in Saturday’s match against the second-placed Mernda. ​

But the second quarter was all Mernda’s way, with Demons on a scoring run, kicking five goals.

Limited opportunities in the second term meant there was very little the Kilmore forward line could do to stem the flow.

Kicking one goal for the quarter, the Blues headed into halftime down by 31 points – with just two scoring shots to Mernda’s 13.

Kilmore gained some momentum in the third quarter kicking two goals, while also halting Mernda’s scoreboard movement to two goals.

With another strong quarter in the fourth, Kilmore brought the game back to within eight points, before Mernda took a mark and kicked a goal off a Kilmore turnover.

The Blues kicked four goals in the final quarter to bring the margin to 14 points but a shot on goal after the siren saw the Demons extend their lead out to 20 points and secure the win.

Kilmore senior coach Paul Derrick said the second quarter had cost his side.

“The first quarter was really even. The second quarter we just did nothing right – we were terrible,” he said.

“It was probably one of our worst quarters of the year and in the end it cost us the game.

“Our second half was fantastic. We outscored them and it was real physical, real tough football.

“We moved the footy really well and when the final siren went it was 14 points.

“They kicked a goal after the siren but they’re a top two side and in the end whether it’s 14 points or 20 points, we were right in the game especially for three quarters. It was one quarter that just let us down.”

Bailey Derrick had a strong game at half back, while Grant Paxton worked hard at centre halfback and through the midfield.

Derrick said Lachlan Chesher was also ‘fantastic’ at the weekend.

“It wasn’t like there was bad player. It was more like there was one quarter where we didn’t have a good player,” he said.

“One quarter killed us, and in the end we faced the price.”

This Saturday, the Blues travel to Lalor and, after their 185-point win against the Bloods in round seven, Kilmore will be hoping for a change in fortune.

“What we’ve done in the last half this week is what we want to replicate for the rest of the season,” Derrick said.

“We need to have a good 12 quarters for the remainder of the year. That’s got to be our aim. We’re just trying to keep getting better.”

After a bye round for NFNL division one, Whittlesea will make its return this Saturday in an away game against West Preston-Lakeside.