NEWBOROUGH’S last quarter efforts against Yinnar saw it snatch a place in the grand final, winning the preliminary final 12.13 (85) to 9.10 (64).
The match at Yallourn North was an arm wrestle with neither side able to build more than a three-goal advantage, while wayward shots at goal kept scores relatively low.
Yinnar finished the first quarter two goals up and, despite being overtaken briefly in the second, led 5.7 (37) to 4.5 (29) at half-time.
Newborough kicked the first two goals of the third quarter to hit the front by four points, but Yinnar booted the next three unanswered.
The Bulldogs managed one last major for the quarter to set up an exciting final term.
Yinnar opened the fourth with a goal, and looked set to run away with the game, but the Bulldogs replied then added another to edge ahead.
The Magpies were struggling to advance the ball toward their forward 50 and looked tired as the clock wound down.
Summoning extraordinary willpower in the face of fatigue the Bulldogs kicked another major to all but end Yinnar’s grand final dream.
Newborough then hammered a 12th goal that represented the final nail in the coffin containing Yinnar’s season before the siren sounded.
Triumphant coach Allan Chandler said he felt the match could have gone either way, and kicking to the “scoring end” in the last quarter proved a “match-winning advantage”.
Chandler said many players stood up to produce the win including Anthony Battista.
“I’ve been saying all year just two things; hit the ball with pace and have an impact. He kicked two goals in the last quarter and three for the day. He’s played his role and so many guys played their roles today,” Chandler said.
“We had no bench in the last quarter, but the midfield probably got on top and (Chris) Hancock was a big part of that.”
Yinnar coach Sam McCulloch said to his players after the match that it was important for them to bottle the sour feeling they suffered
post-match as a stimulant for next season.
McCulloch encouraged the group to stick together for another shot at the flag next year.
Newborough will face Mirboo North in the grand final at Morwell on Saturday.
THE result went the opposite way in the reserves when Yinnar came out on top after a tight battle with the Bulldogs, 11.6 (72) to 9.7 (61).
The Magpies narrowly led at all the breaks and will now face Mirboo North in the grand final.
The result was especially disappointing for the Bulldogs, who went through the home and away season undefeated.
THORPDALE’S thirds earned their place in the grand final with a victory over Newborough, 13.10 (88) to 7.5 (47).
The Blues had carved out a three goal lead at half-time, which they maintained in the third quarter.
During a crucial fourth quarter, the Blues booted three goals to the Bulldogs’ one point and sealed the victory.
THE stage has been set for a Yinnar versus Yarragon fourths grand final after the Panthers defeated Mirboo North 8.6 (54) to 5.8 (38). While the Tigers were well in the match for most of the day, the Panthers pulled away in the last quarter.