Caroline Springs pulled off a stunning comeback to seal a spot in the Western Region Football League Women’s grand final.
The Lakers trailed Manor Lakes by 24 points at the main break on Sunday morning, with their hopes of a second straight grand final appearance looking unlikely.
The Lakers found another level in the second half and hit the front twice in the last quarter. The second time was with just a minute and half left in the game. It was enough, with the Lakers winning, 7.8 (50)-7.5 (47).
Lakers coach Colin Clohesy said they spoke at half-time about not wanting to finish their season then and there.
“It didn’t look like it at half-time,” he said. “It’s a bit surprising to get the win.
“We could see our season disappearing and that we wouldn’t be playing footy again until 2020. We moved a few people around and moved some players who weren’t having much impact in the backline to the forward line.
“A few things like that with the whole group stepping up “
Clohesy said while comebacks in women’s football weren’t a regular occurrence, the side had some confidence, having been able to do it once before earlier in the season.
With their midfield getting on top, the Lakers closed the gap to three points at the last break.
It made for an interesting final quarter with Manor Lakes, last season’s premier, kicking with the wind.
“We got our noses in front for the first time with about 13 minutes left in the game,” Clohesy said.
“They got one back from a 50-metre penalty and it didn’t look likely to get another one kicking with the non scoring end.
“There was a minute and a half to go and we were lucky to get a mark 15 metres out.”
Clohesy went back and slotted the goal, with the Lakers then focused on making sure they defended the margin.
Maddison-Eve Fenech kicked three goals, including the winner.
Alexandra Fato, Ash Stafford and Jasmine Raffaele were named the best.
Clohesy said it was pretty exciting for the group to win through to a second successive grand final.
They are looking for their first premiership.
“Every club wants to play in every week of the season and it only happens for two clubs.
“It was the goal at the start of the year to play every week.”
Caroline Springs face Spotswood in the grand final. Spotswood had the week off.
The two sides have played three times during the season, with Spotswood leading the ledger 2-1.