A tough year, but finally, a reward for Inglewood
WHEN it comes to sport, there's nothing quite like the tale of an underdog overcoming the odds to triumph.
On Saturday in the Loddon Valley Football League, Inglewood did just that to finally savour some joy in what has been another long and arduous season for the boys in blue.
Having lost their previous 27 games - including their past four by more than 100 points - the Blues were rewarded for their persistence when they defied not only their poor form, but an ordinary start to the game, to defeat Mitiamo by 10 points.
While Mitiamo certainly isn't a power side - the Superoos have only won three games this year - the Blues' upset win well and truly came out of the blue... pardon the pun.
Their previous four games had totalled losses by a combined 549 points, and there was nothing to suggest when they were 24 points down at quarter-time on Saturday that anything was going to change.
But in an enthralling turnaround, the Blues kicked 11 goals to five after quarter-time to win 12.8 (80) to 10.10 (70) at Mitiamo in a result that was the talk of the LVFL on Saturday night.
Perhaps next year the Blues should request their home games to be shifted to Mitiamo.
Before Saturday's upset, the Blues' most recent win had also been at Mitiamo in round four last year when they beat the Superoos by 35 points.
When it gets to August and you're 0-14 like the Blues with an average losing margin of 97 points and your confidence has evaporated, football - both on a Saturday and at training during the week - must seem like a drag where the end of the season can't come quick enough.
While the victory gives the whole club a massive late-season lift going into the final round, it's due reward for coach Isaac Douthie (pictured) and his group of players who, despite copping belting after belting, have continued to turn up week after week.
It's often said of struggling teams like Inglewood that you can forget how to win when opportunities present.
That appears true of the Blues, who before Saturday had either been in front or within 14 points of their opposition at three-quarter-time in three games this season, without being able to get over the line.
But on Saturday they answered the challenge on two fronts - firstly to find a way to fight back from quarter-time and half-time deficits, and secondly, to keep their cool under pressure in the final term after they had hit the front at three quarter-time.
So, with one win under their belt, can the Blues turn it into two in a row when they host Pyramid Hill in round 18 on Saturday?
I doubt it, but then again, who would have thought back in 2007 when Inglewood beat Marong to famously end a 51-game losing streak that the Blues would then come out and upset Pyramid Hill by five points the following week.
Footy's a funny game.