HDFL - The run of impressive wins finally ended for CKS Swifts after suffering a 57 point loss to Edenhope-Apsley in their Horsham District Football League preliminary final clash at Natimuk on Saturday.
After defeating the Saints three weeks ago and with few changes to the team over the past month, Swifts would have been confident that this year they could go one further than 2011 and have a tilt at the premiership.
Kicking with the breeze, the Baggies got off to a promising start with coach Paul Hanns booting the opening goal of the match.
Saints responded minutes later, with Dylan Vanzini taking advantage of a teammate's kick that dropped short.
Ricky Whitehead was at his damaging best through the middle and kicked Swifts second goal, while Hanns added another major.
Scott Carey, who was coming off a best on ground performance the week before, hassled his opponent and roved the ball through for a goal to help Swifts to a 19 point lead at quarter time.
Hanns lauded his players for a 'really good start' but outlined what Swifts needed to do to maintain the lead.
"We need to get numbers around the footy and forwards get in front - work to get that front position. Backs and midfielders - be smart and get numbers to where the ball is going to go," Hanns said.
However, the first quarter was to be the Baggies highlight for the afternoon.
Edenhope-Apsley scored quickly, with Vanzini getting the better of Jakob Davis while Bernie Kealy was keeping Swifts forward Jeremy Joiner quiet.
The Baggies struggled to get the ball going into their forward 50 and a goal to Addison Milner saw Saints hit the front midway through the second term.
Swifts only score in the second quarter was a behind to Carey. The Baggies had no answers to the challenges thrown at them and two quick goals saw Saints take a 29 point lead at the main break.
The margin blew out to 35 points after a goal to Vanzini in the opening minute of the third quarter before Julian Carr booted the Baggies first goal in 50 minutes of play.
Whitehead and Liam Nuske kicked successive goals to peg the margin back to 17 points and it looked as though Swifts were going to mount yet another comeback.
Hanns urged his players at the three quarter time break to 'play with passion and give something back to the supporters.'
It just wasn't the Baggies day though, with Saints piling on six unanswered final quarter goals to run out winners 16.12.108 to 7.9.51.
Swifts president Robert Carey said Edenhope-Apsley 'were just too good.'
"They took advantage of the wind in the second quarter and played a very smart game once they got in front," he said.
Mr Carey singled out defender Owen Phillips, in his 200th game for the Baggies, as playing one of his best matches.
"Owen didn't do a thing wrong," he said.