Burras through to the grand final in extra time

Joshua Flower (Ljubica Vrankovic) 347360_19

Tara Murray

Diggers Rest had to dig deep to win through to another Riddell District Football League grand final, overcoming Wallan in extra time.

After a week off the Burras faced the Magpies for the first spot in the grand final on Saturday at Romsey Park.

The match had plenty of twists and turns, with scores locked at 15.8 (98) apiece when the final siren went.

Two five minute periods of extra time were then played, with the Burras doing enough to get over the line 17.9 (111)-16.8 (104).

Burras coach Jamie Lobb was relieved that his side could do enough to win through to the grand final.

“We had a great start in the first quarter before they came at us,” he said. “The second quarter they were able to get a three goal advantage on us.

“We played well and got back into the game and then it was goal for goal after that. [Overtime] is something we’re used to at Romsey.

“It’s pleasing to see the guys get over the line.”

Lobb said while they felt like they were on top in the final quarter, they were never that far ahead to say that the game was over.

Despite being the fresher of the two teams entering the game after the week off, Lobb said the game and heat took its toll late.

“It was a high scoring game and either team could score quickly,” he said.

“The first bit of extra time we started to have some players cramp. Our ruck Mark Orr was cramping in both calves and finished on the bench.

“I’m happy we don’t have to play next week and we’ll take the week off and then go again.”

Mitch Jensen kicked six goals in his first senior game since round two and was one of his side’s best.

While Jensen is the skipper, Lobb said it was a tough decision with him having not played for so long.

“He justified his selection,” he said. “It was a tough call to leave a guy out.

“The way he was training he deserved his spot.”

Lobb said Taylor Hine in the back line was clearly their best player with Orr, Jaycob Hickey and Jaidyn Caruana were the other standouts.

For the Magpies, Michael Mannix, Jacob Langborne, Michael Baccari and Matt Perri kicked three goals each.

Mannix was named their best.

The Magpies will now face either Woodend-Hesket in the preliminary final for a spot in the grand final.

The Burras will have the week off before playing off in their seventh grand final in the last 11 years.

Lobb said it was a good place to be.

“We’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves,” he said. “We’ve still got things to work on.

“We have the cushion of being able to take our time to prepare for the big dance.”