Shepparton United was not expected to win, but losing still hurt immensely.
Entering the match without the added pressure of being favourites, the Demons left Deakin Reserve devastated they had been unable to knock off Kyabram.
Defeated by just three goals coach Di Hanslow was shattered her side made errors unusual for an A-grade team.
‘‘We had our opportunities, we could have won, we were in that and we had our chances, too, so obviously we all feel pretty gutted,’’ she said.
‘‘We gave away six centre passes by five breaks and one stepping, they’re team killers and game killers not just coach killers and we just gave six goals away.’’
It was the Demons that broke the first centre pass of the match to move two goals ahead before Kyabram could score.
Captain Kirsty Hommes and Elle Brooks performed exceptionally against an experienced shooting duo of Belinda Lees and Elle Groves.
Meanwhile in attack Jessie Barnes-Hill tried her hardest to ensure she did not play in another losing grand final.
Having been playing-coach at Rumbalara last year when the side went down to Echuca United in the MNL decider, Barnes-Hill could not have done any more.
She shot 29 goals for the day and made sure to cover Bombers goal defence Ash Mangan all the way through the middle third.
But United had trouble sending possession to tall goal shooter Sarah Bohn as wind meant high balls rarely found their target.
‘‘There was a lot more wind down that end (near the grandstand) yet we put more balls up, so we got ourselves caught,’’ Hanslow said.
‘‘And not just that but Ash and Loz (Lauren Pryde) are the master of switches and they thought they had Loz covered, but Ash was coming across the front of that.
‘‘But the hesitation comes because it’s blowy, but I’m really proud of all the girls, they really put in everything out there, but obviously everyone’s feeling very flat and we could have won it.’’
Late in the match, Hanslow transferred Brooks from defence to attack in place of Sarah Bohn, as teenager Olivia Kirby stepped into goal keeper.
The move helped the Demons turn an eight-goal deficit early in the fourth term to a three-goal loss at full-time.
But Hanslow said that the lessons young players learned from stints in A-grade this year will serve United well for the future.
‘‘As a club we’re excited, when you look at what we’ve put out there with the young kids and the amount of court time they could have and also that we could’ve taken the game against the most experienced team in the comp,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a fantastic result if you look at it like that and we do on one hand but on the other hand it’s an opportunity missed.’’