Finals specialist Williamstown has advanced to the Lacrosse Victoria men’s state league grand final from third place for the second year running.
The Fearons were the underdogs going into the preliminary final against minor premiers Footscray on neutral territory at Lower Eltham Park on Saturday, but came from three goals down at quarter-time for a 14-7 upset win. It keeps the Fearons bid for a premiership three-peat well and truly alive.
Williamstown is preparing to face Camberwell in the decider at Angliss Reserve in Footscray on Saturday.
The Chiefs have been the surprise packet of the finals, moving through for their first men’s state league grand final appearance since 1939.
Fearons captain Matthew Price is wary of the emotion that will surround the Chiefs in Saturday’s final.
“We can’t take them lightly,” Price said.
“All we’ve got is a ticket into the grand final, so all the work is ahead of us.”
Williamstown is peaking at the right time of the season. The two-time defending champions seem to be able to flick a September switch.
Williamstown’s season was teetering on the brink at quarter-time on Saturday.
Trailing by three goals, the Fearons chipped away at the deficit, trimming it back to one goal at half-time and then taking an unlikely two-goal lead by three-quarter time before a furious six-goal-to-nil final quarter.
“We believed in what we were doing and ‘Damo’ [Damien Orr], our coach, just sort of said stick to it and we’ll get them back one at a time and that’s kind of the way it played out,” Price said.
Williamstown’s win was built on the back of its rock solid defence.
Fearons goalkeeper Evan Willis only conceded two goals in the final three quarters, while defenders Huw Wilson and Chris Welsh were impenetrable.
Brendon McGuire led the way up front for the Fearons with four goals, while there were three each to Callan Gibson and Liam Clarke.
Price also praised the efforts of homegrown youngsters Gil Cordell-Radford and Sean Clarke.
“The reason why we’ve come good is on the back of all the young blokes,” Price said.