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Back to B with last gasp win

08-Sep-2018

Over 1500 people were on hand to see Fitzroy pull off a spectacular come from behind win to bounce straight back up to Premier B and secure a berth in the Premier C grand final.

Playing Williamstown CYMS on a wet, muddy Bill Lawry Oval in Northcote, the locals ignored the conditions to come out and cheer for the ‘home’ side and they didn’t let anyone down.

Two remarkable goals in the last three minutes from Tom Cheshire in one pocket and Nathan Jumeau in the other, put Fitzroy in front as the siren sounded and sent an unlucky Williamstown into a Preliminary Final against Old Geelong, for the chance to make their first ever foray into B Grade.

Meanwhile Fitzroy players and fans were overjoyed with such an emphatic response to last year’s relegation.

You couldn’t have asked for a more hotly contested battle in the second semi-final, with Fitzroy taking early honours thanks to Jumeau’s first two goals and one each to Max Ellis and Jack Dalton late in the quarter.

Fitzroy went into the quarter time break up 4.1.25 to 1.2.8, which turned out to be the biggest margin in the game. Fortunes were reversed in the second quarter with Williamstown kicking four goals to Fitzroy’s one, cutting the margin to just one point at the main break.

With the weather conditions worsening, and three goals apiece, neither side could break away in the third quarter and it came down to the last.

As the anxiety levels increased on the sidelines, Williamstown took its lead out further with the first goal of the last quarter… as it turned out it would be its last. The 10-point lead was looking enough with five minutes remaining and people were thinking about possibly preliminary final opponents. Not the vice captain! Out of nothing he kicked the ball across his body on the run from the boundary line and the hands in the air and bobbing red, yellow and blue beanies behind the goal were enough to say ‘game on’.

The last-minute winning goal was to be just as impressive, from the man who kicked the first of the day. Nathan Jumeau had to fly up and take a strong pack mark to earn another shot from the boundary line. Taking the Stevie J option, the crowd again signalled the result and the Fitzroy players were euphoric.

The final score was 10.7.67 to 9.10.64.

Coming back from injury, Jack Dalton played a superb game. In the wet and hard conditions, the seasoned campaigners Sam Baker, Dalton, Rory Angiolella, and Tom Cheshire held their opponents accountable all day and just found a way to will the ball forward. Andrew Pettigrove gave the side early drive from the ruck and he and Matt Gaite combined well around the ground. Toby Hudson Bevege played a hugely important lock down role in the backline.

Three others who look seasoned well beyond their years and experience were Donovan Toohey, Ted Clayton and Jack Hart. How Donovan has missed out on a rising star nomination this year is anyone’s guess, but he looks and plays like he’s been here before and his performance was all the more impressive given he’d played in the school boys grand final captaining Northcote High during the week.

Noah Wright had the late call up on Saturday after Aidan Lambert pulled out and played a strong part in the win.

Every player did their bit (apologies to those not named!) and it was a spent looking side that made its way off the ground after the initial celebrations. They found just that little bit extra for the singing of the song however!

After the game, coach Luke Mahoney said the win was for the club (to be promoted) but next week would be about the players. They had one final box to tick.

He will again face some challenges in selection, but thankfully has two weeks to think about it and for players to get their bodies right.

Julian Turner cannot seem to take a trick with his body and had to leave the game in the second quarter with further hamstring issues.

The other significant injury was to Bernie Wright, who pulled up very late in the game with what appeared to be a high hamstring, which is likely to rule him out of the big game. It’s a very sad end to what has been a consistent season for Bernie where he has continued to flourish and grow as a senior player.

The club will have an open pre-grand final BBQ and training session on Thursday 13 September and all members and fans are welcoming, but please book in so we know how many to cater for. You will be able to purchase a BBQ sausage and drinks at our usual bar prices.

There will also be a post grand final event at The Royal Derby Hotel after the game on Saturday 15 September.

Details of the time, ground and opposition for the Grand Final will be decided tomorrow and announced by the VAFA. Keep an eye on our social media for updates.


Fitzroy’s 5 point pre-grand final plan:

  1. Rest and rehydrate!
  2. Book your ticket to the Redlow: https://fitzroyfc.worldsecuresystems.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=97741
  3. Vote for more lighting in Pick my Project: https://www.fitzroyfc.com.au/latest-news/vote-to-support-women-playing-footy-in-yarra
  4. Book your ticket for the pre-grand final BBQ and training at BSO on 13 Sept: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=422988&
  5. Watch the semi final replay (again)! https://www.vafa.com.au/vafa-tv/premc-semi-final-williamstown-cyms-vs-fitzroy

 

 

 


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