The Big V were unable to secure victory in their last match of International Rules on the 2015 Ireland tour when they went down to Donaghmore/Ashbourne by 23 points at Ashbourne.
Despite being led by University Blues star, Marshall Rippon, and Spirit of the Big V recipient, Tom Sullivan, the VAFA failed to hold on to an early lead induced by overs to Jeremy Mugavin, Matt Handley and Sullivan.
Standout performances from Luke Stubbs and Michael Barnes in the forward 50 helped the Big V hold a one-point lead at the first break.
However, Don/Ash were able to recover the deficit into the breeze in the second quarter as Tom O’Donnell left the field following a head clash requiring 10 stitches.
With a bevy of forward entries coming their way, the Caven brothers and Harry Whitty stood tall in defence and kept the half time deficit to just three points.
Jack Hunt, Sam Williams, Ash Viney and Stu Grigg lifted in the third, racking up disposals at will and helping to keep the margin to 13 points at the last break.
After a stirring speech from coach Cam Roberts at the three quarter time huddle, the Big V came hard and kicked the first two overs of the last term via the boots of Mugavin and Handley to put the pressure back on the home side.
Unfortunately, the courageous comeback from the Big V boys was short-lived as the bigger and fresher bodies of Donaghmore/Ashbourne took control and ran out 23-point victors.
The Big V would like to thank Donaghmore/Ashbourne on their hospitality and hard-fought display of International Rules football.
Goals: Unders Cowan 1 Overs Mugavin 3 Handley 2 O’Donnell 1 Sullivan 1
Best: Mugavin Sullivan S Caven Barnett Whitty Stubbs Silfo
Spirit of the Big V: Tom Sullivan
The Big V will wrap up their tour with an Australian Rules football match against AFL Great Britain in London later today.