THE scoreboard said the winning margin was four goals but it was much, much closer than that.
Prahran Assumption earned promotion to VAFA Division 1 and a grand final berth with a 24 point win over West Brunswick after a tightly contested arm wrestle at windswept Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday. When you hear the field umpires say post game they had not seen tackling like it from both teams all season you know this was a high pressure contest. The Two Blues won the crucial toss to kick with the aid of a strong, blustery northerly wind but in reality that played into the hands of West Brunswick as their defence oriented game plan swung into action, West Brunswick posted the first goal courtesy of a free kick and it took 20 minutes before a Jon Simonetta snap gave the Two Blues their first goal. Another from Eric Kuret from a great tackle and free in time-on made it two goals for the quarter, below par for sure.As hard as it may be to believe, the second quarter was where the Two Blues began to arrest the momentum. While the Two Blues were scoreless they upped their tackling pressure, began to take control at the stoppages through the relentless Trent Rogers, Eric Kuret, James Musster and Paul Donahoo, and restricted the Magpies to just two goals, the second at the 30 minute mark to take a seven point lead. The scene was set for the third quarter. Josh Hogarth ended the goal drought followed by a Ged Hogarth mark and goal. Then the brothers combined for another goal to Ged and a Nathan Costin kick was superbly marked by Ariel Steinberg for another goal. A 20 point lead seemed barely enough but a centre bounce clearance from Donahoo saw the Two Blues go forward and an Eric Kuret handball to Josh Hogarth for an easy goal in the first minute buoyed the Two Blues. A trademark dash from skipper Musster saw the ball into the goal square where Steinberg soccered a goal and stretched the lead to a match winning 32 points. West Brunswick could manage just one second half goal, credit to the Two Blues defence led by Tom Freeman, Tom Atwell and John Stocker. The grand final will now be played on Saturday or Sunday week against either West Brunswick or the winner of the first semi-final between MHSOB and Old Paradians.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 2-3 2-3 6-8 8-11 (59) d WEST BRUNSWICK 1-0 3-4 3-6 4-11 (35).
Goals. J Hogarth, G Hogarth, Steinberg 2, Kuret, Simonetta. Best. T Freeman, Kuret, Dickinson, Steinberg, Simonetta, Kerr, Rogers, Atwell, Stocker.
RESERVES : After a four goals opening in the first 15 minutes kicking with the strong northerly the Two Blues fell away in the face of a determined and classier West Brunswick, Prahran Assumption now plays in the preliminary final next Saturday.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 4-2 4-3 6-6 8-6 (54) lost to WEST BRUNSWICK 2-4 5-9 7-9 10-13 (73). Goals. James, McCulloch 2, Ellis, Heeps, Rundell-Gordon, Scicluna. Best. Walford, J Taylor, Heeps, Kenny.