READ MORE - Weekend of high football drama across the region
BOORT players and supporters were left shattered on Saturday after the Magpies were less than a kick away from winning their first North Central league game for more than a year.
The Magpies were denied a drought-breaking win by Wycheproof-Narraport, with the Demons scraping over the line by two points in a thriller at Boort.
While it was a gut-wrenching result for the Magpies, the 10.8 (68) to 10.6 (66) victory was a massive sigh of relief for the Demons, who won their second game of the season.
Boort had led by four points at three quarter-time, but the Demons kicked 3.1 to 2.1 in the final term to edge out the Magpies, who had fought back from a 22-point deficit at the main break.
The experienced duo of James Coatsworth and George Turner (three goals) led the best players for the Demons, whose coach, Corey Jones, was on Saturday night named among North Melbourne's greatest 150 players at a Kangaroos' 150th celebration function.
Saturday's near-miss still leaves Boort's last win as its 24-point victory over Charlton on June 16 last year.
"It was a heartbreaking loss for the boys to fall two points short," Boort president Kane Arnold said.
"But we were rapt with the effort of the boys over the four quarters. They played tough, contested football, which is what we wanted from them."
The result was a major improvement for the Magpies on their round seven meeting with the Demons when they had been beaten by 110 points.
With all teams having now played each other twice, the Magpies have shown considerable improvement in the second half of the season.
They lost their first seven games by a total of 1133 points (average of 162).
However, they have been able to trim their losing margin in their second set of seven games to 576 points (average of 82) and in what's a major positive for the club also have a new coached locked away for the next two years in Andrew Hawker.
Two of their current co-coaches in Keiren Wilson and Sam Griffiths were both prominent on Saturday.
Griffiths kicked four goals - the most by a Boort player this season - while for the eighth time in their 14 games this year centre half-back Wilson was named best.
The Magpies' four-point advantage at three quarter-time was the first time they had been in front at any break this year.
In other round 14 games on Saturday, Sea Lake Nandaly produced a ruthless demolition job on St Arnaud.
The ladder-leading Tigers annihilated the Saints by 198 points, winning 33.18 (216) to 3.0 (18) at home.
Only the 210 points Birchip-Watchem beat Boort by in round six this year has been a more one-sided NCFL game since 2009.
The Tigers - whose percentage is now a huge 361.1 - had 12 goalkickers led by Billy McInnes (seven), Bryce Delmenico (five) and Jordy McInnes (five).
A six-goal haul from coach Kain Robins helped Charlton to a hard-fought 13.5 (83) to 11.10 (76) over Wedderburn in their Woosang Challenge match.
The result guarantees the Navies will play finals for the first time since their 2016 premiership year.
And Birchip-Watchem overcame a goal-less first quarter to defeat Donald by 29 points, 12.9 (81) to 7.10 (52).
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