In the dying minutes of Darley’s semi-final against North Ballarat City, Devils coach Heath Scotland feared their Ballarat Football League season was over.
North had a shot 40 metres out to put them in front and all but seal the win and spot in the next week of finals.
But like for much of the day, North struggled to kick straight. On this occasion, it went out on the full to keep the Devils in front by two points.
That would be the final result, with the Devils winning 13.3 (81)-11.13 (79).
It was a relieved Scotland post game.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think that last shot on goal was our season,” he said.
“Had he kicked a goal, I didn’t think we had time to get another one.
“We then slowed it down and got yardage and the ball was in our 50 when the siren went.
“We were keen to not finish the season today. We wanted to come back here next week.”
Scotland said they started the game well and held their nerve when North came at them in the second quarter.
He said they were focused on a fast start after a poor performance last time against North.
After executing the game plan in the third quarter, the Devils led by 15 points into the last break.
Scotland was confident they could get the job done, but still had a few nervous moments when a couple of decisions didn’t go their way.
“We were confident we could run the game out well,” he said.
“From my end I felt we had control of the game.”
Dane Grenfell kicked four goals, while Steve Kennedy chipped in with three.
Scotland said Kennedy continued his rich vein of form, while Brian Graham returned to his best.
While those two were the standouts, Scotland said everyone did their bit.
“We had a lot of contributors in the second half,” he said.
“We said to them, sometimes it’s not your day, but it’s your moment, and when they had their opportunity to put a stance on the game they did.
“The team as a whole stepped up.”
In a bonus for the Devils, they got through injury free.
Jordan Spiteri, who was a late inclusion, played his first game back in the side.
Lachlan Herring, who was the late withdrawal, and Tate Stone should be available this week.
The Devils now face East Point in a preliminary final, with Melton awaiting the winner in the grand final. The Devils beat East Point in the final round of the season.
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