Morwell Pegasus has defeated defending champions Cobram Victory 4-1 to claim the 2012 Regional Challenge Trophy.
Cobram snatched the lead against the run of play through Jamie England before a quick reply from Shane Tagliaferro and three unanswered second half goals for Morwell sealed the win.
Pegasus coach Stan Webster praised his players on overcoming a tough Victory outfit.
“I think we had the extra stamina and a couple of players who didn’t play (the previous night in our league match) helped to add a bit of freshness to the team,” Webster said.
“Cobram went up 1-0 and usually when a team takes the lead against us we struggle to break them down (but) they didn’t just pack their defences, they kept going and made it a very open game.
“We have guys who are good finishers and we took our chances well.”
With both teams coming off tough league matches the day before, Morwell seemed to have more in the tank and was able to outrun Victory in the second half.
Victory was missing several of their key players, with Matt Gray’s absence particularly conspicuous, and his usual creativity through the middle of the park was sorely missed.
It was Cobram who drew first blood in the 29th minute when England found the back of the net with a shot through a crowded penalty area after a cross from the left wing.
Morwell continued to press despite going down and got the equaliser in the 36th minute after a curling cross from Paul Byrne was met on the half-volley by Tagliaferro, whose strike went across the keeper and into the net.
Both teams failed to create any clear-cut chances early in the second half, with most of the play taking place in the midfield.
As the half drew on, Morwell looked more and more likely to win the match and it grabbed the lead in the 63rd minute.
A long ranged shot was not dealt with by Victory keeper Lyall Beazely who parried the ball into the path of the oncoming Byrne who made no mistake from close range.
Byrne completed his brace for Morwell in the 67th minute after working home a header from a tight angle with Tagliaferro providing the cross.
Maximillian Etheridge finished the game off in style for Morwell, scoring from a one-on-one position to complete the 4-1 win.
Cobram Victory player-coach Craig Carley was pleased with his players’ effort despite the result.
“It was a really tough game last night up in Cobram and it took its toll; we had a lot of players missing so it was hard,” Carley said.
“My expectations weren’t too high, I just wanted the boys to go out and do their best.”