LET it hurt.
They were the three words that swirled around Port Macquarie's team huddle following a 16.8 (104) to 11.10 (76) AFL North Coast grand final defeat to Coffs Harbour.
The 28-point margin ensured the Magpies premiership drought extended into a seventh season, but it could have been so much different.
Midway through the third quarter, the 'Pies held a 20-point advantage when coach Tom Marmo kicked his second goal in as many minutes.
The Pies had all the momentum and they looked like ending the wait for a flag that stretched back to 2013 at C.Ex Coffs International Stadium until the tide turned.
And when it did, it would turn in a big way as the Breakers surged over the top of the weary Magpies to kick the final eight goals of the match.
Magpies coach Tom Marmo lamented an inability to swing the momentum back their way when the hosts went on a run of their own.
"Footy is momentum, isn't it," he said.
"We had it early in the third and looked like we were going to run away with it and then they kicked a couple of quick ones, got up and about and we didn't come out in that last quarter."
Footy is momentum, isn't it?Port Macquarie Magpies coach Tom Marmo
Magpies midfielder Kye Wilson had an opportunity to put his side back in front in the shadows of three-quarter time when they trailed by just five points.
At the time, the Breakers had kicked four goals in a row before his set shot from point-blank range cannoned into the right post which prevented a seventh lead change.
Marmo admitted when the Breakers went on their scoring run, everything snowballed and the Magpies went from running away with the match to running in quicksand.
"There's not much you can do," he said.
"You've got to try and kick a goal against the tide; there was no wind out there, we had a couple of sore boys, but it is what it is."
Captain Jesse Schmidt kicked four first-half goals but was assisted from the field midway through the second term after suffering what looked like a right knee injury.
He returned after the long break, but was visibly hampered by the knock.
We'll go again; I still see us as one of the best teams in the comp again next year so we'll see how we go.Tom Marmo
Marmo didn't believe the Magpies second-half fade-out was due to their finals campaign that saw them play three finals in as many weeks.
"We had a couple of boys who came back from injury as well so we were probably a little bit underdone," he said.
The disappointment of another grand final loss wasn't lost on the coach, but he remained committed to going one step further next year.
"We'll go again; I still see us as one of the best teams in the comp again next year so we'll see how we go," he said.
"You can't win everything, can you?
"Footy's just a game at the end of the day so we'll enjoy the girls who won a flag and they're part of the club so we'll put our heads up and go again."
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