The rise of Jacana from the competition’s cellar dweller to a side on the rise is complete, with the club claiming the Essendon District Football League division 2 premiership.
Not long ago Jacana was the bottom side of the EDFL competition and on the verge of folding.
Yet on Saturday, it claimed their first senior premiership since moving to the EDFL in 2001, defeating Coburg Districts 17.5 (107)-12.10 (82).
After an even first quarter, the Jaguars took control of the game and on the scoreboard.
The Lions threw everything at the Jaguars in the third quarter, but the Jaguars held strong and maintained their lead.
Four goals in six minutes to start the last quarter meant the Jaguars were able to savour victory for the remainder of the match.
Jaguars coach Robert Fletcher said it all came down to playing for quarters of good football.
“It’s fantastic, it’s one of the best feelings,” he said.
“I thought the pressure for our guys for the full four quarters was fantastic. We spoke about it last night … Richmond won a game of football last night from their tackling and that’s what we had to do today.
“I thought we got better as the game going along.”
Fletcher said that despite not winning every quarter, he was happy with the way they had been playing.
“As long as they were in the game at three quarter time, we thought they were a big chance,” he said.
“It was just about four quarters of good football today – and if you do that you win.”
He said the Jaguars had failed in that regard when they played the Lions in the semi-finals – and lost.
“We only played that last quarter and they beat us,” he said.
“It was a matter of being in the game at three-quarter time and we were going to back ourselves. “We’re fit – I believe we are the fittest team in the competition.”
The Jaguars had winners all across the ground.
The midfielders found Cameron Cloke, who was marking everything and kicked seven goals straight.
Chris Johnson showed his class and his party tricks, while Billy Morrison was named best on ground.
“I don’t know how he hasn’t been invited to the comp medal,” Fletcher said of Morrison.
“ I believe he’ll win our best and fairest. He showed it again – he’s too good for this level. Hopefully, he’ll test himself next year at the next level
“We put it on Chris. Last time we played them, he had a shocker and the last two finals he’s been fantastic.
“We spoke about him winning three AFL Premierships, but his dad has won a Jacana one. And that’s what he wanted and what was most important to him.”
Skipper Michael Evans, who spent more time down forward than usual, earned praise for even playing after battling a shoulder injury received in the Jaguars’ semi-final loss.
Fletcher said most players wouldn’t have played in his situation.
For Fletcher, who was as assistant coach last year in Craigieburn’s division 1 flag win, the preparations have already started for next year and division 1.
“We ’ll make some big announcements in the next month or so,” he said.
“We’ll celebrate this first. Look out first division – we’ll have a good crack.”
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