The fine line of footy - who fares best in close games

EPIC CONTEST: Golden Square beat Gisborne by three points in the 2012 BFNL grand final. The thrilling victory is one of Square's 10 wins by six points or less since 2012.
EPIC CONTEST: Golden Square beat Gisborne by three points in the 2012 BFNL grand final. The thrilling victory is one of Square's 10 wins by six points or less since 2012.

WHAT is it about teams that wear black and yellow this year not being able to get over the line in close games?

Richmond sits in fourth position on the AFL ladder with a 7-4 record, but could so easily be on top had the Tigers got over the line in the three-straight games they lost by less than a kick from rounds seven to nine. 

The Bendigo Football League’s version of the Tigers – Kyneton – have endured the same frustrating run of near-misses this year.

Of the eight games the Tigers have played, they have won four, drawn with Sandhurst in a game they led by 25 points, and lost three others by margins of seven (Eaglehawk), two (South Bendigo) and one point (Golden Square).

In what’s shaping as an even BFNL season among the top six, it’s those tight contests that could go either way that are going to prove pivotal in the finals race.

The Tigers haven’t been able to secure the four points in any of those four games against fellow finals contenders and as a result, the highest-scoring team in the competition sits outside the top five.

While the Tigers haven’t been able to bank four points in any of their close games this season, Gisborne is the club that has the worst record in matches decided by six or less points over the past five years.

Since 2012 the Bulldogs have played in 10 games decided by a kick and won just two, with their close losses including the 2012 grand final (three points) and 2014 preliminary final (five points).

Sandhurst’s record in close games since 2012 isn’t flash either, with only two wins from nine games decided by a kick, although, one was the 2014 preliminary final against Gisborne.

Throughout the same period Golden Square has won the most games by six points or less with 10 – including by one point against Kyneton last Saturday – while Maryborough has a 100 per cent strike rate in such games with four-from-four.

Unfortunately for the Magpies, the last of those four games in their favour decided by a kick or less was back in round 16, 2014, when they defeated South Bendigo by one point.

Since then the Magpies have lost 46 games in a row, of which the closest margin has been 11 points.

• Records of clubs in games decided by a goal or less since 2012:

BENDIGO FL

GOLDEN SQUARE

Played: 15

Won:10 Lost: 4

Drawn: 1

This year: 2-0

………………………….….

MARYBOROUGH

Played: 4

Won: 4 Lost: 0

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

STRATHFIELDSAYE

Played: 7

Won: 4 Lost: 2

Drawn: 1

This year: 1-0

………………………….….

EAGLEHAWK:

Played: 8

Won: 4 Lost: 4

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

KANGAROO FLAT

Played: 8

Won: 4 Lost: 4

Drawn:

This year: 0-1

………………………….….

SOUTH BENDIGO

Played: 9

Won: 4 Lost: 4

Drawn: 1

This year: 1-0

………………………….….

CASTLEMAINE: 

Played: 9

Won: 3 Lost: 5

Drawn: 1

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

KYNETON

Played: 9

Won: 3 Lost: 5

Drawn: 1

This year: 0-2-1

………………………….….

SANDHURST

Played: 9

Won: 2 Lost: 5

Drawn: 2

This year: 0-0-1

………………………….….

GISBORNE:

Played: 10

Won: 2 Lost: 7

Drawn: 1

This year: 0-1

………………………….….

HEATHCOTE DISTRICT FL

HUNTLY:

Played: 6

Won: 4 Lost: 2

Drawn: 0

This year: 1-0

………………………….….

COLBINABBIN:

Played: 7

Won: 4 Lost: 3

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-1

………………………….….

HEATHCOTE:

Played: 7

Won: 4 Lost: 3

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

WHITE HILLS

Played: 7

Won: 4 Lost: 3

Drawn: 0

This year: 1-0

………………………….….

LBU:

Played: 10

Won: 4 Lost: 6

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-1

………………………….….

LEITCHVILLE:

Played: 6

Won: 3 Lost: 3

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

MOUNT PLEASANT:

Played: 8

Won: 3 Lost: 5

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

NORTH BENDIGO:

Played: 3

Won: 2 Lost: 1

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

ELMORE:

Played: 1

Won: 0 Lost: 1

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

LODDON VALLEY FL

MARONG:

Played: 7

Won: 5 Lost: 2

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-1

………………………….….

BL-SERPENTINE:

Played: 12

Won: 5 Lost: 7

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

BRIDGEWATER:

Played: 6

Won: 4 Lost: 1

Drawn: 1

This year: 1-0

………………………….….

MAIDEN GULLY YCW:

Played: 5

Won: 3 Lost: 1

Drawn: 1

This year: 1-0

………………………….….

PYRAMID HILL:

Played: 7

Won: 3 Lost: 4

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

NEWBRIDGE:

Played: 6

Won: 2 Lost: 3

Drawn: 1

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

INGLEWOOD:

Played: 3

Won: 1 Lost: 2

Drawn: 0

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

CALIVIL UNITED:

Played: 4

Won: 1 Lost: 2

Drawn: 1

This year: 0-0

………………………….….

MITIAMO:

Played: 4

Won: 1

Lost: 3 Drawn: 0

This year: 0-1