MT Waverley’s premiership hoodoo continued after losing its second Southern Football League division 3 grand final in three years on Saturday against Skye.
The Mountain Lions sneaked into this year’s final five and were underdogs of the final series. They couldn’t pull off a fairytale win against a strong and skilful Skye, which won 12.9(81) to 9.12(66).
Coach Brad Collins rued another missed opportunity.
“We came up against a dedicated unit who came to play and, unfortunately, we didn’t bring our best game with us. We were outclassed all around the ground. All credit to Skye. They settled quickly in the first quarter and really dictated terms to us for the rest of the match.”
Garrett Kinchington stepped up for Mt Waverley with three important goals, while Christopher Jeffries kicked two. Jarrod Wilkin, Robert Tighello and Shane Costantino came in for special mention from the coach.
A controversial ‘own goal’ was awarded to Skye in the dying minutes of the third term, which Collins believes took a little bit of sting out of the Mt Waverley players leading into the final term.
“One of our own players rushed a behind and the goal umpire gave it a goal. It deflated the boys because it came at such a crucial period in the match, but to their credit, they fought on.”
Mt Waverley, who never led at any stage during the match, put on a brave final quarter comeback by booting the first three goals, but the 28-point margin proved too much in the end.
“I was proud of the way the boys challenged in the final term. If there was another quarter to play I’m sure we would have run over the top of them,” Collins said.
Skye was able to hold off a fast-finishing Mt Waverley and record a well-earned premiership. For Collins and his men, all they could do was think about next season. “We had the same number of scoring shots, but just couldn’t capitalise. They took their chances and we missed ours and that was reflected on the final score.”
With all three Mt Waverley grades playing – and losing – in grand finals, Collins believes the club will have much to build upon next season. “We did have a talk with the whole club, talking about learning from the experience of having all three grades in the grand final. Hopefully, each team can learn from its loss and come back bigger and better next season.”
Heartbreak: Top, Mt Waverley players are shattered after losing their second grand final in three years. Above left, Robert Donnelly goes for a leap against his Skye opponent on Saturday. Above right, Mt Waverley’s Cameron Kirkup applies a flying tackle to Skye’s Matt Barr. Pictures: Mike Richards