Mulwala survived a fierce Cobram blitz in the third term to eventually secure a tight win on Saturday.
The Tigers booted 7.4 to 2.2 in the penultimate stanza to hit the lead at the final change after trailing for most of the match.
After keeping the ascendancy deep into the final term, Cobram fell eight points short to once and for all kill any chance it had of making finals.
Mulwala coach Michael Tout was happy to escape the match with victory after his side had effectively switched off.
‘‘I suppose they were playing for their survival, they put a lot of pressure on us,’’ he said.
‘‘We came out and kicked five straight goals to start the game, but then we just went back to playing ordinary footy.
‘‘To get the lead back in the last 10 minutes was great though, it showed the boys that you can never give up.’’
Goalkicking machine Ash Froud found his way into the nervous 90s (91) for the season with four goals, while Damian Cook, Hamish Hosking (one goal) and Ross Ansaldi (one) proved integral for their side.
With the win keeping the Lions in third, Tout did not care how it came about.
‘‘We just fought it out, it was a scrappy win, but any win’s a good win,’’ he said.
Cobram co-coach Josh Noonan thought the inexperience of his troops cost them the game after some otherwise brilliant play.
‘‘I’m pretty pleased with the effort the boys put in, even though it was probably disappointing that it got away from us in the end,’’ he said.
‘‘A little bit of inexperience from the younger guys probably didn’t help with decision-making and things like that, but the overall effort was really good.’’
Ruckman Daniel Clarke and Scott Spencer stood tall for the Tigers, with Mitch Richmann (three goals) and Ben Ryan (two) impressive up forward.
While his side will not taste finals this season, Noonan knows they are not too far away from a breakthrough year on the field.
‘‘I guess it highlights the fact that we’re not far off, it’s just our inconsistency that’s hurting us,’’ he said.
‘‘Once it all gels we’ll be a pretty handy team, there’s definitely some great signs and with the young boys, their effort is there and they’ve just got to start getting some reward for it going forward.’’