Dennington coach Ben Thornton couldn't fault his side's effort against Merrivale, following a devastating week for the Warrnambool and District league club.
The Dogs lost 3.5 (23) to 27.10 (172) against the finals-bound Tigers, just four days after 2015 premiership player and former club president Clinton Hall's shock passing.
"Merrivale are quality opposition and we were a bit undermanned but I think the boys took a bit out of what's happened this week and played with that," Thornton said.
Thornton said that Hall was set to lineup against the Tigers in a comeback game.
"It's something that I'd spoken about with him a couple of times," Thornton said.
"He was going to come in this week. That's probably where it was a big shock to a lot of people. We had his magnet ready to go."
Hall's son Will plays for Dennington's under 15 side and on Saturday was named best on ground.
"To come out and play football after the passing of your father - he was enormous," Thornton said.
"Those boys that he's mates with, they all stood up for him."
Thornton said his side's contested work was a positive from the loss.
"I think there have been times during the year when we've pumped that up after having a good game then go away from it the next week. Until that final siren today the boys gave it their all."
Merrivale midfielder Blair McCutcheon was instrumental for the Tigers while Nathan Krepp was outstanding with seven goals for the winners.
Tigers' coach Josh Sobey was happy with the result.
"The boys played pretty well to be honest again," he said. "We'll just try and keep the momentum going."
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