By Jason Barbin
It’s done, the Grand Final competitors have been decided and it took a thrilling contest in the Preliminary Final to decide who Chelsea Heights will face in the Southern Football Netball League Division 2 decider.
Murrumbeena 5.19 (49) def Keysborough 3.11 (29)
Murrumbeena has booked a spot in the Division 2 grand final for the second time in three years after upsetting Keysborough in the Preliminary Final.
It was far from pretty, but it was enough and Murrumbeena supporters everywhere celebrated a stunning victory from a side that has now won nine matches in a row.
In a match with reeked with inaccuracy, with both sides kicking more behinds than actual goals scored, the Beena was able to battle on and put together a final quarter push to come from a nine-point three quarter time deficit.
And when the game was on the line it was the club’s most experienced players who stood up, with none other than former Division 1 premiership player Liam Wilson leading the way, his influence across the midfield earning him best afield honours.
Wilson was joined by gun midfielder Jake Semmel in his best game this finals series, while inspirational captain Mitch Walder lifted his side over the line.
Lachlan Batt was the game’s leading goal kicker with two majors for the victors.
The game was a hard-fought slog fest and it began right from the opening siren, with neither side unable to register a goal in the first term, resigned to just three behinds apiece.
Murrumbeena found a breakthrough during the second term in windy conditions, but could only muster one goal from nine scoring shots, failing to capitalise and only establishing a 13-point lead by half time.
Keysborough lifted during the third term, restricting Murrumbeena to just two behinds, while putting three majors on the board.
Inaccuracy plagued it as well however, as the Burra finished with three goals from nine shots to lead by nine at the final change.
Murrumbeena would come home with a flurry however, kicking four unanswered goals from 10 shots to steal back momentum and run away with the contest, going on to eventually win by 20 points.
Riet Pal finished his season strongly, named Keysborough’s best alongside Jack Cole and Tim Werner.