North Ballarat lives up to script - just

Relief: North Ballarat coach Gerard FitzGerald is embraced by captain Michael Searl after victory over Frankston.

Relief: North Ballarat coach Gerard FitzGerald is embraced by captain Michael Searl after victory over Frankston.

SURELY not.

North Ballarat Roosters could not lose on Sunday.

It was not in the script.

This was a day of celebration – the day three-time premiership coach Gerard FitzGerald set a new VFA/VFL coaching games record of 314.

For the Selkirk Roosters, winning was the only option.

How could the celebrations continue in full swing if Frankston claimed the premiership points?

This exactly what the Dolphins almost did.

They stormed home in the last quarter with three unanswered goals to hit the lead by one point at the 19-minute mark.

For a tense seven minutes, this was the way it stayed.

And with the clock ticking Frankston threatened to steal the show.

It was finally to be first-year player Jordan Staley who was to kick the winning goal – his fourth for the day in a match-winning performance.

North Ballarat had to fight hard for several more minutes, but it was to be just enough. 

Roosters captain Michael Searl said the players felt good with a 19-point advantage at the last change.

He said they were well aware that Frankston would keep going at them and admitted relief at getting over the line.

Searl, who has spent a large part of his 10-year-plus career at the club under the guidance of FitzGerald, said the player group had endeavoured to keep the day as normal as possible with a focus on the premiership points, while still being aware of the importance of the day for FitzGerald.

He admitted anything but a win would have taken the shine off the moment.

Relief was certainly the general feeling in the Roosters’ camp post-match.

Importantly, they had delivered.

It did not matter how.

The job was done on a football front and at a personal level.

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