It is a scenario that was totally unexpected, but you will not find one lacrosse fan across the west complaining.
An all-west Lacrosse Victoria men’s state league preliminary final will be contested by Footscray and Williamstown for the right to the last spot in this year’s grand final.
You would have bet your bottom dollar on undefeated Footscray earning a direct passage to the grand final, but it succumbed to finals pressure in a 14-11 loss to Camberwell at PJ Lynch Reserve on Saturday.
The Bulldogs went through the home-and-away rounds with an 18-0 record, but it meant little as Camberwell raced to a four-goal quarter-time lead and never looked back.
James Lawerson fired in four goals for Footscray, while Anthony Biscardi and Jordan Germershausen added three each, but their second half comeback attempt was thwarted.
The positive for Footscray is that its wake-up call did not come in a grand final and it will get a chance to re-group ahead of a tricky encounter with Williamstown.
The defending champion Fearons will be licking their lips at the prospect of a free shot at Footscray in a cut-throat final.
Williamstown moved on in the finals with a 13-6 win over Surrey Park at PJ Lynch Reserve.
The Fearons were red hot in the last quarter, piling on six goals to one. Alex Pike finished with a game-high three goals, while two goals each for Troy Butson, Sean Clarke and Kade Robinson sealed a comfortable win.
Remember when Williamstown came from third spot to beat minor premiers Footscray in the grand final 12 months ago?
The Fearons, who also finished third this season, will be hoping history kind of repeats a week earlier than last season, while Footscray will just be hoping to regain the form that made it an unstoppable force during the home-and-away rounds.
In women’s state league, Newport cruised to a 10-1 win over Caulfield in a one-sided preliminary final at PJ Lynch Reserve.
The Porters will face off with undefeated Footscray in the grand final.