Eaglehawk claimed back-to-back BASL division one championships when it defeated Spring Gully 2-1 on Sunday.
Needing a draw to deny Shepparton South the trophy, the Hawks were stretched all the way by a gallant Reds side, but a goal from Nathan Hamblin midway through the second half ensured the Borough would be champions.
“We were flat in the first half and we had a few guys struggling with injuries, but good sides manage to find a way to win and that’s what we did,’’ Eaglehawk coach Greg Thomas said.
“It’s been a long season and we just limped over the line. The championship is the prize that we wanted to win all season and I couldn’t be prouder of the way the boys fought to the end.”
Thomas said championship victory was even sweeter considering 2017 was the first season four Shepparton-based clubs joined the BASL.
“We knew this year was going to be tough because of the inclusion of the Shepparton sides and we said there would be nothing better if we could be the Bendigo side to win the title,’’ Thomas said.
“Shepparton South are a great side and I’m sure the Shepparton sides will be stronger again next year. As a club we’re very happy to win this one.”
The BASL season continues for the next three weeks, with a finals series to be played between the top four teams in all four grades.
In division one, Eaglehawk plays Shepparton South with the winner to advance to the grand final, while the loser will head to the preliminary final to face the winner of this Sunday’s elimination final between Epsom and Shepparton United.
In the women’s division, championship winners Shepparton United play Epsom in the second semi-final, while Moama-Echuca takes on Shepparton South in the elimination final.