Waubra’s finals drought is over.
The Roos ended their five-match losing sequence in the Central Highlands Football League playoffs with a 22-point triumph over a gutsy Springbank on Saturday.
Heading into the weekend’s clash at Buninyong, Waubra had not won a final since way back in 2014, but did enough to finish off a Tigers side that threatened to steal the result early in the final term.
Waubra was beautiful to watch in the opening quarter, however poor kicking kept Springbank in the hunt. The Tigers trailed by only 30 points at the change, despite having just four scoring shots to 14.
Things tightened up in the second and third quarters as Springbank - largely through the efforts of onballer/forward Billy Driscoll - dug in to trail by 25 points at the last change.
Springbank had the Roos fans tensing up when it booted the opening two goals of the final term to close to within a couple of kicks of the lead, but back-to-back steadying majors to Austin Murphy eventually put the margin out of reach.
Waubra coach Matt James said it was great to get the “monkey off the back”.
“We haven’t won a final in the seniors since I’ve been at the club,” he said.
“To do that was really pleasing. The boys stood up and it was awesome.”
James said the Roos’ first quarter set up the result.
“We had a really, really good first quarter, used the footy well and played fast, attacking footy,” he said.
“We probably could have hit the scoreboard a little bit more, but obviously that sort of set the game up for the rest of the day.”
Waubra had a good spread of contributors, with Tom Nash and Andrew Wettenhall leading from the front in the midfield. Jackson Kinna took some big grabs and was impressive in defence alongside Alex McPherson and Jonathon Neville moved well and was dangerous in attack.
For Springbank, Driscoll tried hard to lift his team over the line, kicking two goals while having a hand in others. Brock Freeman had a great battle with Geordie Lukich in the ruck and Maher brothers Kieran and Joel showed some good moments.
Springbank coach Troy Beamond said Waubra deserved to win the match.
“At times this year, particularly with our injuries and lack of depth, we were probably written off or had big question marks over us,” he said.
“But all year our core group of lads showed a lot of heart and they did that again today.”
Waubra will meet Beaufort in a preliminary final next Saturday.