Highett have been crowned champions of the Southern Football Netball League Division 2 competition after an upset win against hot favourites Doveton Eagles.
Highett 7.22 (64) def Doveton Eagles 4.16 (40)
The Dogs have claimed the 2018 premiership, knocking off the Eagles in tough conditions at Jack Barker Oval in Cheltenham.
With swirly winds, bitter cold and consistent showers affecting the game, it was always going to take a big effort from either side to get across the line. And while the conditions ensured a scrappy game, it was nevertheless an absorbing contest from start to finish.
Highett skipper Tom Brown was awarded the Meneilly Medal for best on ground following his efforts throughout the afternoon, which saw the Dogs boot the last four goals of the game in the final term.
Brown was joined by club best and fairest winner Yianni Pasialis among the best, with Harry O’Neill, Chris Langdon (two goals), Mark Short and Sam Jackson also influential.
Michael Callinan was in stellar form for the Eagles and did everything he could to try and drag his side across the line, with Travis Graeske, Jarrod O’Neill and Nick Battle also among the best.
Highett got off to a fast start early in the opening quarter, winning plenty of possession in the midfield, but in tough conditions, was unable to impact the scoreboard accurately, kicking 2.13 to 1.4 to lead by 15 points at quarter time.
Doveton was able to wrest some momentum away during the second term, as the Eagles got their hands on the football more often, resulting in goals to Russell Robertson and Darryl Thomas.
The Eagles were also able to restrict the Dogs to just three behinds as they levelled the score at half time.
Momentum continued for Doveton during the third term as Callinan booted his first to give his side a five-point lead. Highett responded shortly after however and took a one-point lead into the final change.
The two sides battled hard at the beginning of the last quarter and with the premiership on the line, neither side gave an inch in a pulsating opening 10 minutes.
The Dogs were soon able to gather momentum however, booting four unanswered goals to surge ahead and eventually claim a 24-point win at the final siren.