SHATTERED Albury midfielder Joel Mackie felt the Tigers were their own worst enemy in yesterday’s 36-point loss to arch rival Yarrawonga.
The Tigers got off to a flying start when they led by nine points at the first change despite kicking against a two-goal breeze.
When Kieran Ellis kicked Albury’s seventh goal of the match at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter the Tigers were suddenly out to a 16-point lead and their biggest of the match.
But Albury was clearly outplayed from that moment on as the Pigeons fought back hard to kick nine of the last 10 goals and claim their second successive flag.
“It was another brutal battle and it hurts to lose,” Mackie said.
“You work so hard during the season and it’s gut wrenching to not get the result we were after for the second year in a row.
“I think we just butchered the footy and made a lot of wrong decisions, especially after quarter-time.
“We were kicking to two-on-one contests and they seemed to be taking a lot of uncontested marks or had a second man up in marking contests.
“But full credit to Yarrawonga, they played better than us and it’s as simple as that.”
Mackie battled hard to finish the match with 17 possessions.
But, like so many of his teammates, the Morris medallist faded as the match wore on.
Mackie dismissed the notion that Albury’s preliminary final heroics against Lavington had flattened the Tigers.
“I don’t think playing two tough finals in a row was that much of a factor,” he said.
“We played Yarrawonga four times throughout the year and they beat us three times.
“We just need to re-group and come back bigger and stronger next season.”