It was far from convincing, but Beaufort has won its way back into the Central Highlands Football League grand final.
The Crows fended off a sustained charge by Waubra to win Saturday's preliminary final at Buninyong by two points.
Beaufort was damaging in the opening term and led by 18 points at the first change, before the Roos cracked in and made the match a real contest.
The Crows kicked just two more goals for the rest of the afternoon as Waubra pressed for the lead. However, it was a lead the Roos would never obtain, despite two opportunistic goals from Austin Murphy that closed the margin to less than a kick mid-way through the last quarter.
Beaufort coach Rohan Brown wasn’t bothered by the manner of Saturday’s victory and was simply pleased to get through to another grand final.
He paid tribute to a Waubra side that refused to lie down and said the main feeling was that of excitement.
“It’s bloody exciting,” Brown said.
“We are so excited. We had rehab (on Sunday) and everyone was just happy. We are very excited as a club.
“It's a great result and not just for the playing group, but the club.”
On a tough day to find four-quarter standout performers, Beaufort star Jarrod McCorkell (two goals) started brilliantly but faded out of the game, while the likes of Daniel Venditti and Nick Sullivan toiled hard through the midfield. Jack Duke and Lachlan Murray played in attack and kicked two goals each, onballer/forward Alex Petrie had an influence at various times throughout the afternoon and utility Ben Hayes bobbed up at important stages.
For Waubra, onballer Tom Nash and ruckman Geordie Lukich led the way, while Ben Wilson was good out of defence. Star onballer James Lukich tried hard, but didn’t have his usual impact.
Roos coach Matt James said he was “super happy” with how his side performed on Saturday despite suffering a narrow defeat.
“They got away early, but we did everything right from there. We were extremely brave and just were not able to get over the line before the siren,” James said.
“I was super proud with all the boys and we are disappointed to not get there, but our year has been outstanding.”
It's a great result and not just for the playing group, but the club”Beaufort coach Rohan Brown
Skipper Michael Foster was the main injury concern for the winners after he left the field in the third quarter.
Foster required dental work following a heavy collision.
Beaufort is looking for its first senior premiership since the 1996 triumph and is in a second-straight grand final after losing to Hepburn last year.