Rupertswood couldn’t have asked for a better day in the Riddell District Football League.

All three Sharks sides performed strongly and won through to grand final day.

The Sharks under-19s got the job done first, keeping Woodend-Hesket goalless.

The reserves then upset a previously undefeated Wallan side.

The seniors finished it off with a come-from-behind win against Diggers Rest.

Sharks senior coach Nick Ash said it’s an amazing feeling to have all three football sides into the grand final.

“For us as a club to have three sides in is massive,” he said. “The 19s have been sitting on top all year and been hunted all year. There’s 10 or 12 blokes who have played for the seniors throughout the year.

“You try and build to get as many guys as possible through the senior side and when you get to these finals, it doesn’t matter what grade you’re playing in, you can do the job.

“We had a real hunger there in the reserves.

“As a coach, I’m happy with three sides into the grand final.”

Ash said there was a bit of pressure on the senior side.


Rupertswood’s Dean Putt. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Diggers Rest vs Rupertswood 

They did it the hard way, trailing by 11 points at three-quarter time.

The Sharks kicked six goals to none in the final quarter to come away with the 13.10 (88)-9.8 (62).

While the Sharks had the wind in the last quarter, Ash said their never-say-die attitude was the difference.

“In previous years I don’t think the belief was there. They thought they had it, but the full belief wasn’t there.

“Something had changed [this season] and I couldn’t be prouder as a coach.

“Diggers are a really good side, they are the benchmark and they’ve been there and done that.

“They got the ball down in their end early in the last quarter and were looking to score.

“Some sides might have said that they have this, they’ve got the momentum.

“We always knew the longer it went the harder we worked, we worked hard and ran it out to the end.”

Billy Cannolo kicked three goals for the Sharks in his return from VFL duties.

Ash said it was good to have someone of Cannolo’s class back.

Dean Putt was named best on ground for the second week in a row.

Ash said it makes a big difference having Putt fit at this time of the year.

“Dean Putt in the ruck was huge,” he said. “The last couple of years he’s been underdone rucking in the finals series.

“We’ve managed him really well and it’s showing with the results out there.”

Other standouts for Rupertswood were Sean Hetherington, Kayne Murphy, Dylan Podolczak, Jordan Tentonello and Josh Ferraro.

The Sharks are through without any injuries.

Ash said they know the hard work is only starting.

They will face either Diggers Rest or Wallan in the grand final next Sunday.

In the other semi-final, Wallan defeated Romsey 12.9 (81)-6.10 (46).