Burnside Heights is one win away from a fairy tale first season in the Essendon District Football League Women’s competition.
The Bears did not expect to be among the top teams, let alone in a grand final as more than half their team has never played before.
But with just one loss for the season, that is exactly where they find themselves this weekend.
Bears president Justin Peagram said they could not have predicted the season they have had.
“We’ve got a lot of quality players, but over half the team is made up of novices,” he said.
“I don’t think we get enough credit. Everyone has played their role and it’s blown us away.
“We thought we would win a couple of games.”
The Bears won through to the grand final with a hard-fought win against Westmeadows on Sunday.
In a low scoring game, the Bears prevailed with 3.6 (24)-3.4 (4) 22.
Peagram said a tricky wind made it difficult for both teams to score.
He said while it was pretty close all day, he thought they were in control of the game.
“Westmeadows had an outstanding game,” he said. “They had two or three back when we had the wind and made it hard to get the forward structure.
“It was a dog fight until the end. We were always probably going to win, but they made it uncomfortable.”
Peagram said it was an even contribution from the side. He said Sina Mason, Allison Chivell, Laycee Eustace, Kayla Ravanello, Krissy Tran and Ebony Stevens all contributed at key moments.
Peagram said he hoped winning the preliminary final would add to their momentum.
Between byes and forfeits, the Bears have struggled with consistency.
“We haven’t had enough games under the belt,” he said.
“The second half of both finals, our ball movement has been better. We started to get the mojo together and played well.”
The Bears face Pascoe Vale in the grand final on Sunday at Windy Hill.
Pascoe Vale defeated Sunbury Kangaroos, 6.11 (47)-0.1 (1) in the other preliminary final.
The Bears’ only loss of the season came against the Panthers, by 13 points.
“The girls are champing at the bit and really eager for the game,” Peagram said.
“Pascoe Vale will be front runners, but grand finals are funny things.”
It was a good weekend for the Bears as their under-13 boys claimed the premiership in their division. The senior men defeated Coburg Districts, 17.10 (112)-15.15 (105).
In division 1, Hillside replaced Taylors Lakes in the top four after defeating Jacana, 16.13 (109)-9.7 (61).
As a result Taylors Lakes may miss the finals, as they are one game and a lot of percentage outside the top three.
Keilor is on top in premier division, after beating Maribyrnong Park 14.14 (98)-9.8 (62).