Roxburgh Park couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday in the Essendon District Football League division 2 finals.
With both their seniors and reserves playing for grand final spots, the Magpies were hoping both teams would get the job done.
They did exactly that.
Magpies senior coach Michael Farrelly said it was a really good 24 hours for the boys.
“It’s really good, especially after the turbulent year we had last year,” he said.
“There’s pretty much been improvement across the board, both on and off field..
“To take a side from sixth to a grand final, I would have taken that. It’s good reward for effort.”
In the seniors, the Magpies took some good form into their semi-final, having knocked off Moonee Valley the week before to snatch a top two spot.
This time the challenge ahead of them was Northern Saints.
The Magpies got off to a good start and then were able to keep the pressure on.
They didn’t let the Saints back in, winning 15.7 (97)-4.12 (36).
Farrelly said it was a hard-fought, old-fashioned encounter.
“It was nothing fancy,” he said.
“We rose to the occasion. Good sides like Northern Saints, who finished on top and beat us three times, don’t give up after 30 minutes.
“We reinforced that at every break. We won all four quarters.”
Luke Capuano kicked six goals, though Farrelly said it was an even team performance.
He highlighted Adrian MacKinnon, Ferris Merhi and Jamie Grant as three of the stand-outs.
Farrelly said the win didn’t come as a surprise based on the way the side had played in recent weeks.
“We’ve been building,” he said “We played 12 or 13 really good quarters out of the last 16.”
The Magpies have the week off before facing either the Saints or East Sunbury in the grand final.
East Sunbury won its semi-final against Moonee Valley 14.8 (92)-10.6 (66).
Farrelly said the focus between now and the grand final would be on continuing what they had been doing.
“We need to keep the next two weeks as familiar as we can and focus on the basics,” he said.
“The senior guys are really good at that.
“The message will be driven home, that once the game starts it will be just another game.”