Greenvale bounced back in the Essendon District Football League premier division preliminary final to set up the grand final clash with Aberfeldie that had been widely expected.
Little has separated the Jets and Gorillas, clearly the best two teams all season who finished the season with 16 wins apiece.
The Gorillas got the win in the second semi-final to get the first grand final spot, leaving the Jets to do it the hard way – in a preliminary final against Maribyrnong Park on Saturday.
The Jets did just that with an 18.5 (113)-12.8 (80).
Jets coach Paul Chapman said they had achieved what they set out to do.
“We had a few key words we wanted to live by and play by,” he said. “We wanted to be hard around the contest and play some good footy.
“It’s got us to a grand final and hopefully it can win us a grand final. The hard work is just beginning.”
On Saturday, the Jets showed exactly why they have been considered contenders.
After an even first quarter, the Jets exploded in the second by kicking seven goals to two to have a 34-point lead at half-time.
The third quarter was more even, with the Lions throwing everything at the Jets, but the Jets responded to still lead by 33 points at three-quarter time.
The game ended on a sour note, with a serious leg injury to the Lions’ Chris Prowse holding up play.
Prowse hurt his leg on the three-quarter time siren and the game was halted for about an hour and half, with Prowse taken to hospital by ambulance.
Due to bad light, the last quarter wasn’t played and the three-quarter time score became the final result.
Chapman said the Jets had played really good football at times.
“It was finals like football,” he said. “It was contested and hard and both teams came to play. The second quarter was really pleasing.
“They hit back hard at us, but the boys responded. The way the boys played was excellent.”
The straight-kicking Jets had 10 goalkickers – pleasing after only having four in their losing semi-final outing.
Jacob Thompson led the way with four goals.
Chapman said Josh Smith was clearly best on ground, but was supported well by Addam Maric while the backline again stood strong.
The Jets have some injury concerns heading into the grand final.
Fabian Deluca and Courtenay Dempsey both missed Saturday’s match after suffering injuries in the semi-final.
Chapman wouldn’t elaborate, but said another couple of players had been injured in the win.
It’s believed Maric is among those under a cloud after suffering a hamstring injury.
“A few weeks ago we had no injuries and now we’ve got four or five injuries,” he said.
“We’ll be doing everything to get them up and ready to play. Fingers crossed they get up.”
It’ll be a big weekend for the Jets, with their reserves also in the grand final. The club’s thirds have already claimed a premiership.
Chapman said he was confident that if his players played their best football, they could get the job done.
“It has all the ingredients for a fantastic grand final,” he side. “”It’ll be a tight, hard game of footy.”