Beaufort delivered an inspired performance to topple Waubra in the under-18 Central Highlands Football League grand final 13.13 (91) to 12.6 (78).
Waubra jumped the Crows with a stunning six-goal opening quarter while holding Beaufort, who finished the home and away season in fourth position, goalless - to take a 36-point lead into the first change.
The Crows strung together four consecutive goals to enter the half-time break with a sense of confidence but a wasteful scoreline of 4.8 to trail the Roos, who didn’t score in the second term, 6.3.
But Waubra once again made the most of its turn to the scoring-end, kicking 3.3 to Beaufort’s two behinds – who failed to register a goal into what was a deceiving breeze.
A 26-point deficit hung over the young Crows as they entered the three-quarter-time huddle with it all to do in the final term of the season.
It would not be overcome by the occasion as Beaufort produced a scintillating final quarter which brewed nine goals to Waubra’s three.
Best-on-ground Tom Le Lievre proved the match-winner for the Crows as he turned it on in the forward 50, kicking three of his eight goals in a devastating last term.
Waubra didn’t go quietly, but the wave of momentum wearing the red, yellow and blue overpowered the Roos with its swift transition of play and dynamic forward line.
As is so often the case in football, Beaufort stamped itself as the form side of the competition at the business end of the year. Winning five matches in succession to storm into the finals and then topple minor premier Hepburn in the qualifying final. It then thumped third-placed Springbank by 63 points to advance to the grand final.
The devastation was evident on the Waubra faces who relinquished a lead in excess of six goals in the early stages of the game but it was matched with equal elation as the young Crows belted the song out in the middle of Alfredton Oval.
There was similar heartbreak for Buninyong in the reserves grand final as the previously undefeated Bombers were taken down by an inspired Springbank outfit.
Springbank set the tone for what would be a golden day on the football field for the club, holding onto its strong start to deliver a 8.9 (57) to 6.7 (43) victory.
Both sides entered the clash off the back of thrilling one-point preliminary final victories.
Buninyong finished three games clear on top of the ladder as it entered its 15th grand final of the past 20 years.
But it wasn’t going to intimidate a Springbank side that made its intentions clear early as it kicked five goals to two to open up a 21-point buffer in what proved to be the pivotal quarter.
Buninyong hit back to close to within two points at three-quarter-time and would be kicking to the scoring-end in the final term, but the Tigers would not be silenced.
A towering mark and conversion from ruckman and best-on-ground Lochlan Douglas gave Springbank a nine-point advantage early in the last and a spirited display saw it kick another and hold the Bombers goalless to clinch the premiership with a 14 points.
Buninyong’s under-15 side did what the reserves couldn’t and complete the perfect season with 20 victories from 20 outings.
Although it needed a quality last quarter to secure the premiership. The Bombers led Hepburn, who finished second on the home and away ladder, by five points at the final change before they steadied to kick 3.2 to no score and deliver a 10.5 (65) to 7.3 (45) victory.
Buninyong speedster Hunter Donald was judged best afield, using his run and dash to great affect.
Kyden Brown also showed his poise around goal, kicking some clutch goals, while Lachlan Atkinson was also among the best for the champion Bombers.
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