ROCHESTER thirds got across the line on Sunday in the elimination final at Benalla Showgrounds, taking down a strong Benalla line-up on its home park.
The young Tigers played a prominent team brand of footy to come away with the 11-point win and had some notable individual efforts during the game.
The backline lead by Harrison McPhee, Joel Haitsma and Riley Wachter worked tirelessly all game, keeping the Saints goal-less in the first term kicking 0.2 to the Tigers 2.3 for a 13-point advantage at quarter-time.
Up forward, Noah Vredenberg’s pressure allowed him to make most of his opportunities for a cheeky goal.
The Tigers pushed out their lead by a goal in the second, scoring 3.2 to the Saints 2.2 to be up 35-16 at half time.
A fight back from the Saints in the third saw the scores level going into the final term at 6.6 (42) apiece.
But the Rochy boys kept their heads, especially in the defence end to limit the Saints to just two points in the last.
They had the luck of going into the scoring end and worked the ball into their forward 50 to score crucial goals, the final scoreboard 8.7 (55) to 6.8 (44) in Rochy’s favour.
Joshua Flight ended the day with three goals and Charles Ward, Ryan Oogjes, Bailey Wileman and Andrew Henderson were the other goal scorers on one each.
Charles Ward, Matt Kellett, Jacob Atley, Dylan Oaff, Harrison McPhee and Riley Coghill were named in the bests players and coach Elliot Bowen said any one of the players could’ve been named.
‘‘It was a confidence boosting win for the team,’’ Bowen said.
‘‘They worked together and played team over individual footy to come away with a good win.
‘‘It’s the first finals win in the thirds since 2010 and they deserve to sit back and enjoy it after all the hard work during the year to get there.’’
They had a massive challenge against Kyabram’s power-house thirds this Sunday at Euroa.
The Bombers almost went through the season undefeated before one loss in the final home and away round.
‘‘We pushed (Kyabram) at the start of the year and they got the better of us the second time around at Ky,’’ Bowen said.
‘‘But we’ll go out there and give it a crack.
‘‘The boys have already won a final which is fantastic for the club and they’ll go out with no pressure on them this Sunday.’’