TUDOR West came out firing but had to scramble hard to hang on against Kiwi Diggers on Sunday.
They did, getting up 3-1 to win through to their first first grade grand final in five years.
“We came out all guns blazing in the first 20,” Tudors coach Sam Lobsey said.
“We made some good inroads from the back up to the front.”
They earned a short corner virtually from the hit-off.
The shot splayed wide but a couple of minutes later Sam Holt, diving towards the goal, got a touch to put them up 1-nil.
It was end to end and fast-paced for the first 10 minutes, with both sides creating chances but being unable to capitalise.
Lobsey made it 2-nil with a straight and hard hit off a corner with just over 13 to go in the first half.
“It was a really good first half,” Lobsey said.
What he really liked was their one-touch balls and their ball control in the attacking third.
“We really changed that around,” he said.
It was something they needed to improve on from their semi-final loss to Services Workies.
He probably would have preferred not to have half-time.
Kiwis came out and scored early from a scramble in the goal mouth and really had them on the ropes.
“We dropped our bundle in the second half,” Lobsey said.
Their attack didn’t have the same fluency and they spent a lot of the half defending.
They did a pretty fair job of it, keeping Kiwis out, even if sometimes only by a stick.
Adam McMahon was adjudged their player of the match.
“He really worked hard in the midfield,” Lobsey said.
Kiwis were a bit slow to get going, co-coach Andrew Davy said.
“The first half the boys didn’t stick to the game plan,” Davy said.
“We were a bit loose in defence and didn’t get our press right to the degree it should have.”
They were probably a bit lucky to be only two down at half-time.
Keeper Martin Courtney made some good saves, and Davy himself saved one on his backstick almost on the line.
“We spoke about being patient in attack and patient in defence on the ball,” he said
They didn’t do that.
“In attack we’d get to an area inside our 25 and just hit it across,” he said.
It was a bit hit and hope, and didn’t come off.
He had spoken before the game about needing to get more results in their 25. That didn’t quite happen.
“Sometimes we over-complicate things in traffic,” Davy said.
“Maybe we tried to be too fancy, not looking for the easy option.”
They played a lot better in the second half and created some good opportunities.
But they were unable to finish them.
Kiwis will be holding a 55-year reunion to coincide with their presentation night at West Diggers on Friday September 20.
Tickets are $20 a head. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, Craig 0411351842 or Tim 0401313740.