WYNYARD gave Latrobe another scare but couldn't quite get over the line, with the Demons good enough to hold on for a six-point victory in a hard-fought NTFL contest at Wynyard yesterday between the two top teams.
Nothing separated them all day.
Wynyard led by six points at quarter time, Latrobe by five at the main break and three at the last change but the Demons managed to keep their noses in front in a game that could have gone either way - winning a low-scoring arm wrestle 5.9 (39) to 4.9 (33).
Latrobe had five individual goalkickers for the game with Greg Sharman booting three for the Cats.
Matthew Sheehan was named the Demons best player with Gavin Woodcock, Rodney Coglan, Callan Mann and Matthew Langmaid other good players.
Wynyard coach Tom Robinson was disappointed his side was unable to inflict the Demon's first defeat in another close encounter between the two teams after their last game was a one-point thriller to Latrobe.
``It was another close one - we weren't unlucky but they probably capitalised on a few opportunities that they had.
``We got in front in the last quarter and again they got a lucky one when Holland kicked a goal to get them back in front.
``They probably played the conditions better than we did and that probably proved telling in the end.''
Robinson said the Cats could take some confidence out of their performance and believed they were capable of beating the ladder leader come finals.
``We haven't quite got over the line yet but we're confident we can beat them.
``We matched it with them and they were only on top for 10 minutes in the third quarter today - other than that we either matched it with them or were on top of them.
``We just have to capitalise on a few opportunities and that would have proved the difference.''
Robinson praised the game of Rhys Phillips who had 39 possessions in the centre saying he felt he was the best player on the ground.
``Dane Poke did a good job on Holland and kept him pretty quite and Zach Smith was good again.''
ULVERSTONE proved too strong for East Devonport winning 18.18 (126) to 11.11 (77) at Girdlestone Park.
The Robins kicked seven goals to two in the opening quarter and were always in control, running out 49-point victors.
Travis Davies kicked a bag of 10 goals with Dwayne Howard best on ground on a wing and in the centre.
``We were able to get in front and not let them back in and controlled the game pretty much for four quarters,'' Ulverstone coach Justin Hays said.
``It was a really good four-quarter effort and a team effort with an even spread and no passengers, which was really pleasing.''
George McLachlan booted four goals for the Swans with Matthew Stephenson their best player.
SMITHTON recorded a 36-point victory over Penguin at Penguin to hold on to third spot on the ladder.
The Saints led all day but the Two Blues fought hard and pushed them all the way before the Saints ran out winners 14.22 (106) to 11.4 (70).
Chris Smith was the Saints best player with Smithton having 10 goalkickers for the game.
Justin Plapp booted four for Penguin with Jacob Brown their standout.