FISH Creek have hopped into the grand final with a dramatic two-point win in extra time against Stony Creek on Saturday at Meeniyan.
The predicted weather held off and big game was underway under bright sunshine; Fish Creek took the early ascendancy kicking the first two through Hunt and Shaw.
Hargraves for Fishy was repelling Stony Creek’s attacks, his ball use dynamite.
Hutchinson for the Maroons was composed cutting off the poor entries from the Roos as they cut a path through the middle kicking their first and only goal for the stanza.
Fish Creek had plenty of inside 50s but could not convert. Stony Creek’s defenders in Sigeti and Logan stood tall marking the long bombs in from the Roos.
Fish Creek by 14 points at quarter time.
Zuidema v Manne in the ruck was proving pivotal. Fishy onballers through Harfield-Park and Ethan Park did the grunt work and seemed to be getting on top willing the ball forward and the Roos kicked goals from Cooper, Wilson and Hunt.
The other big match was Bergles v Hayes.
Bergles, the five time leading goal kicker had his ears pricked slamming on two for the quarter. Fish Creek’s inaccuracy at goal was preventing them from kicking away. A strong Stony Creek defence only allowed the Kangas long shots at goal.
The Roos had Stony where they wanted them going into the second half, 18 points in front.
It’s a big ground at Meeniyan however and Stony Creek were using it very well, stretching the Fishy boys from side to side.
The Lions came out with a take the game on mantra and it worked with goals through Bergles and Byrnes that saw the margin reduced.
Hargraves into the middle for Fish Creek gave the Roos a bit more run. Hutchinson with his pin point ball use was setting up the Maroons at will.
The dreadlocked Atkins was becoming busy around the stoppages along with Marriott and Newton receiving a lot of outside ball. A late goal to Bergles gave Stony a sniff and it was game on at the last change with the Roos up by nine points.
Fish Creek attacked time and time again, but Logan for Stony stood tall taking towering marks and with his long kicking set up goals for Bergles and Nolan.
Manne was intercepting everything across half back, but Stony Creek’s ability to turn the footy enabled them to attack kicking three for the quarter.
As scores drew level the bell rang and it was extra time.
Unbelievably, this would be the second year in a row the second semi would be decided after normal time. Harfield-Park received a free kick 60m out and bombed it long to the square where the big man Adlington took a mark and put the Roos a goal in front.
At the change of ends the next five minutes would decide who went through to the big dance.
The Roos held a seven-point lead. The Maroons poured forward, a goal to Hutchinson had the crowd on their feet. Bergles left foot snap hit the post, as Fish Creek held on by two points.
After an epic battle, a fantastic second semi-final, Fish Creek scraped through to their fourth grand final in a row and Stony Creek live to fight another day in the preliminary final against the much-improved Foster.
Fishy into grand final after epic