Bacchus Marsh’s flag bid on track

Dean Heta was the standout big man on the ground on Saturday. Picture Shawn Smits.

Bacchus Marsh is in a prime position to make a second straight Ballarat Football League grand final after a convincing win against Lake Wendouree in its qualifying final.

For a second straight year, the two teams faced off in the first week of the finals with the same result – a Cobras win.

On Saturday, the Cobras did the damage early on before a third-quarter mini-comeback from the Lakers.

The Cobras steadied in the last to secure a 14.14 (98) to 7.14 (56) win.

Cobras coach Travis Hodgson was thrilled with the solid performance.

“It was a really good win,” he said. “We had the running for most of the day. We were in a strong position at half-time … they came out hard in the third quarter and kicked three goals with the wind.

“We were still pretty confident, as we were three goals up at three-quarter time. We kicked four or five goals in the final quarter.”

Jethro Calma-Holt made the most of his opportunities for the Cobras, kicking four goals from few possessions.

Hodgson said Lachlan Phyland was best on ground for keeping in-form goalkicker Lucas Anderson to one goal.

He said Dean Heta was the dominant big man on the ground, while Logan Blundell and Daniel Velden were also standouts.

The win was soured by injuries to three key players.

Simon Lafranchi’s season looks over after dislocating a knee. He left the ground in an ambulance.

Jackson Bolton dislocated a shoulder and went to hospital, while Kane White injured a hamstring.

Hodgson said the hamstring injury was on the minor side of things.

The win sets up a semi-final match-up with arch-rival Darley, with the winner going through to the grand final.

Hodgson said he’d been told it would be the first time the two rivals have played in a final.

The game will be played at Darley Park, instead of in Ballarat, where second-week finals are normally held.

Hodgson said he had no complaints with the game being played closer to home.

“Hopefully, we play our best footy and get the job done,” he said.

“Both teams are in the same boat now – fighting for a grand final spot. The four best sides are still alive.”

Hodgson said the Cobras would have some selection headaches following Saturday’s injuries, with Western Jets duo Blake Graham and Nick Stuhldreier coming into

He said star midfielder Scott Sherlock was tracking along nicely and looked set to play again this season as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Hodgson said Sherlock would play on grand final day, if the Cobras make it, and more than likely be available for the preliminary final weekend, should they lose this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Cobras’ reserves are through to the semi-finals, defeating Lake Wendouree, 7.9 (51)-2.5 (17). With the Sunbury Lions losing, the Cobras will play East Point for a grand final spot.

In the under-18.5s, the result went the other way, with the Cobras knocked out of the finals 8.6 (54)-4.7 (31) by Lake Wendouree.