Keilor has won through to the Northern Football League Women’s division 1 grand final in a low-scoring thriller against Bendigo.
Not much has separated the two teams during the season, with honours split in their two regular season encounters, and their semi-final was no different.
In a high-pressure game, the Thunder led early after kicking two goals to one in the first half.
In the second half, the Blues made the most of their opportunities – in contrast to their opposition.
The Blues kicked 2.2 to 0.4 after half-time to secure a 3.2 (20)-2.6 (18) victory.
Brooke Todero kicked two goals for the Blues. Gemma Wright kicked the other goal.
It was very happy Blues coach Emma Kerry.
“It was a very hard contest all day,’ she said.
“They are a very quality side and they drew on their experience of the last three years.
“It took until extra time in the final quarter to hit the front.”
Kerry said while there was a few nerves late, she was proud of how her side played. For several players, it was their first senior final.
“I have a few kids in my backline and they were fantastic. They have gone from strength to strength.
“They listen and want to learn. It’s been pleasing how they have matured on and off the field.
Nicole Zammit and a couple of her former basketball teammates Gemma and Sarah Wright were named the side’s best.
Kerry said Zammit, who is in her first year of football, could easily play at a higher level.
“She’s an absolute find,” she said. “She’s a star basketballer, who is only 25.
“She’s played top level basketball and football this year.
“This is the first week she hasn’t had basketball, as they were knocked out. She was a star off half back.”
The win moves the Blues through to the grand final.
They are going for a second straight premiership, having won the Essendon District and Western Region Football League Women’s competition premiership last year.
They have the week off, and then will either face Bendigo or VU Spurs in the grand final.
Kerry said the time off at this time of year was invaluable. It’ll be the second time in three weeks, the Blues will have the bye.
“We aimed for that towards the end of the season. Bendigo [if they make it through] will have to play in four tough matches away.
“It’s very beneficial. We have a few mature players and a lot of new girls and under-18s. It’s been a hard slog with a lot of hard physical encounters.”
The Thunder and Spurs will face off for the second time in the finals in a preliminary final this weekend, with the Thunder winning the last game in extra time.
Kerry said she would go down and watch the preliminary final and expected a cracker match. She said there had been nothing between the three sides.
She said who ever they play in the grand final, it will be a close one.
“Hopefully it’s not as close as this one.”
The Blues under-18 girls reached the Essendon District Football League under-18 girls’ grand final with a 4.10 (34)-0.2 (2) win against Westmeadows.
The Blues will face the Sunbury Lions in the grand final.
Kerry said it showed the club’s desire to create a pathway and strong program was working.