A serious injury to Jake Hywood took the gloss off Kangaroo Flat's win over Castlemaine at Dower Park on Saturday.
Hywood suffered a serious arm injury late in the final quarter and an ambulance was called to assist the young defender.
With the Roos leading 10.13 (73) to 6.10 (46), and the result not in the balance, the game concluded.
"It was the last few minutes of the game and he landed awkwardly on his arm,'' Kangaroo Flat coach James Flaherty said of Hywood.
"It looked pretty serious, he was clearly in a lot of pain and, thankfully, the ambulance came really quickly.
"He was taken straight to hospital with what could have been a compound fracture.
"The umpires, Castlemaine and us decided it was best to finish the game then. There was only a few minutes to go and it was the right decision to make."
The 27-point win was the Roos' fourth win of the season.
They jumped the Pies in the first-half and opened up a six-goal advantage, but Castlemaine had a big third term to reduce the margin to single digits at one stage.
"It was pretty typical of us, to be honest,'' Flaherty said.
"I thought we were well on top in the first half and the scoreboard showed that.
"It seems like you praise them and then they go to sleep. In the third quarter Castlemaine played a lot better and we weren't anywhere near it.
"That was disappointing, but the boys got a rev at three quarter-time and they were able to finish off the game well.
"We've beaten Castlemaine twice and Maryborough twice, so I'd suggest it's pretty clear where we sit in the competition.
"A full year of footy into this group is the key. We've shown in many games this year that we can win a half of footy, but it's the consistency and mindset that needs to be there for senior footy."
Midfielder Liam Collins and defender Ryan O'Keefe were the standouts for the Roos.
"Liam was really good and he had a clear tag on him after half-time. I thought he and Langy (in the ruck) worked really well together,'' Flaherty said.
"Ryan O'Keefe and Liam Collins have been our best players over the past six weeks. Ryan wins one-on-one contests and gives us plenty of drive off half-back."
Callum McConachy, Kaleb McBride and Jack Chester were best for the Pies, while Zac Denahy played his best game of the season.
Denahy started at centre half-back before being moved forward for the second-half and he kicked four goals.
The Pies' cause wasn't helped by injuries to Tommy Horne (groin), Will Moran (corked thigh), Brodie Browne-Kerr (suspected broken hand) and Jackson Byrne (knee).
"We ran out of fit players on the bench, unfortunately,'' Castlemaine coach Don Moran said.
"We played some good footy, but you have to make the most of your chances.
"By our stats, we had 17 inside 50s to six in the first quarter and yet they kicked three goals to none. It's been a bit like that for us in first quarters most of the year."
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