SEA LAKE Nandaly kicked the last two goals of Saturday’s North Central league first semi-final against Donald to get over the line by three points and keep its season alive.
The Tigers were forced to dig deep late after what had been a 39-point lead midway through the second term become an eight-point deficit during the final quarter.
However, having surrendered the momentum, the Tigers were able to wrest back the ascendancy late as Brad Collins and veteran Nathan Wight following a contested mark kicked the final two goals of the match to get Sea Lake Nandaly over the line 12.18 (90) to 13.9 (87) at Wycheproof.
RELATED – SATURDAY SCOREBOARD
“Nathan has played 315 games or so and probably never kicked a more important goal than today,” Tigers co-coach Matt Elliott said.
“But we never should have got ourselves into the situation we did. We went away from our structures after half-time and dropped our intensity.
“To then be eight points down at the 22-minute mark of the last quarter and find a way to win… we’ll take it and now have a week to regroup.
“We’ll focus on the positives of the first half when we played some very good footy. We had 40 inside 50s to 15 at half-time, but just weren’t putting it on the scoreboard and missed a lot of gettable opportunities.”
Nathan has played 315 games or so and probably never kicked a more important goal than todayMatt Elliott - Sea Lake Nandaly co-coach
The best player for the Tigers was Luke Martin, who had the job on Donald forward Seamus Young.
Young finished with three goals, but two of them came in the final term when Martin wasn’t playing on him.
Also playing well for the Tigers was Ben Notting in his role on Donald’s Darcy Harrison, while gun ruckman Ryan O’Sullivan was a big presence.
Wight’s match-winner was his fourth goal, while the Tigers also had Collins, Kyle Brasser and Billy McInnes kick two apiece.
The Tigers now have a week off before the preliminary final when they will play either Wycheproof-Narraport or Birchip-Watchem.
For the Royal Blues, Saturday was the second time in three seasons they have lost the first semi-final by less than a kick after Birchip-Watchem beat them by five points in 2016.
Donald’s best players featured Anthony Raso (four goals), coach Jacob Werts and Jordan May.
Meanwhile, in the Maryborough-Castlemaine District league Natte Bealiba broke its qualifying final hoodoo.
Having lost four-straight qualifying finals, the Swans defeated Talbot 10.15 (75) to 10.6 (66).
In Saturday’s other game, Carisbrook won a qualifying final for the eighth year in a row as it thumped Harcourt 23.14 (152) to 7.8 (50) to join the Swans in advancing to the preliminary final.
Saturday was the second-straight qualifying final Harcourt has lost by more than 100 points.
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