VIKINGS POWER HOME, DISTRICTS END WARRIORS RUN
By CONNOR PAIN
Altona is one win away from the grand final after a barnstorming come from behind 21-point victory against Deer Park in the 2022 TIV Division 1 Qualifying Final.
The Vikings showed a determination that will serve them well ahead of their clash with Caroline Springs as they were forced to overcome a dogged Lions outfit who started strongly in Saturday’s clash.
Deer Park got off to the perfect start with the first two majors and kept the momentum up as they piled on six first-quarter goals to stun Altona and take a 25-point lead into the quarter time break.
The second quarter saw Altona work their way back into the game with their pressure up the ground and at the contest intensifying, but Deer Park was still able to smoothly move the ball from defence to attack and head into the main break with a four-goal advantage.
Corey McCall’s half-time message clearly resonated with the Vikings as they came out of the main break firing and quickly flipped the game.
Centre clearances, forward half pressure, seven goals to zero. You name it and the Vikings did it. It ended in 10 goals in a row over the second half as the Lions had no answers, Altona just far too good.
The 14.12. (96) to 10.15. (75) win sets up a tantalising clash with Caroline Springs for Altona with the winner straight through to the TIV Division 1 Grand Final on September 17.
Deer Park can regroup with plenty of positives to take from the game, Spiros Amarantidis leading from the front with three goals for the afternoon.
Werribee Districts’ stunning fourth-quarter comeback saw them overturn a one-goal deficit at the last break and run out 13.14. (92) to 12.13. (85) winners against rivals Hoppers Crossing.
Like Altona in the qualifying final, Werribee were made to work for the win as they too trailed after the first and second quarters.
The comeback started after the main break with a four goal to one ‘premiership’ quarter before a monstrous five goal last term that broke the hearts of Warriors players, coaches and fans.
Trent Lee’s six goals the clear standout performance on the afternoon, and in the end the difference between his side and Hoppers Crossing in the seven-point win.
The heartbreaking elimination finals loss ends what turned into a disappointing season for the Warriors, who for much of the home and away season were firmly entrenched in third place, but just couldn’t string wins together at the end of the year before falling in the final.
Districts now face Deer Park in what should be a cracking contest, both sides with everything to play for as the winner will sit a step away from a grand final birth.
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