ALTONA has come out on the wrong end of a ballistic game with Greensborough in the Hockey Victoria men's state league 1, losing 4-3 on the road and failing in their quest to land the inaugural Michael McLean Cup.
The two top-four sides struck up the cup in honour of the Greensborough stalwart and long-time Altona fan and put on a fitting spectacle in his honour.
The Seagulls got on the scoreboard first through Mitch Gough, who scored his first state league goal, but they loosened their grip on the contest by conceding the next three in a high intensity affair.
The travelling Gulls got back into the contest after half-time, largely due to the influence of McLean Medal recipient Mathew Higgins, cutting the deficit with a pair of penalty corner goals from young drag flicker Chris Coleman.
The Seagulls not only restored parity on the scoreboard, but started to dictate the terms of which the game was played with co-captains Steve Campbell and Tyson Priddle controlling the midfield.
Sukh Butter, Pat Phillips, Dan O'Loughlin and Gough were posing a multi-pronged threat on the Greensborough defence. But for all the hard work it took for the Seagulls to find an equaliser, it was taken away in an instant with the home side scoring a late winner.
Seagulls co-coach Ben Guy says the comeback was a positive sign for his side even if the desired outcome was not achieved.
"To go down by one goal after fighting our way back into the contest is obviously gutting, but the show of character from the boys was encouraging," he said.
The Seagulls will host MCC at Grant Reserve on Saturday. Meanwhile, young and developing Footscray is still winless after a 4-1 loss to TEM at McIvor Reserve on Saturday.
The Bulldogs lone goalscorer was Tynan Whight, who has two for the season.
■ Footscray served up the punishment to TEM in a 4-2 win in the women's state league 1.