COLBINABBIN silenced its doubters on Sunday, grinding out a courageous victory in the Heathcote District Football League elimination final after trailing a spirited Lockington-Bamawm United outfit at every break.
It was a tight encounter all day with the Cats holding a slender two-point lead at three-quarter-time.
A final term blitz was enough to ice the game though, the Hoppers piling on 5.4 while restricting the Cats to 3.1 to seal the 13-point victory.
Colbinabbin coach Nick Knight said he was proud of his club’s perfomance.
‘‘It was a great win for our football club,’’ he said.
‘‘We knew it was going to be tough against LBU.
‘‘They’ve improved a lot this season and they beat us a few weeks ago so we knew the kind of quality they had.’’
In extremely blustery conditions at White Hills, it was the Cats that won the toss and elected to kick with the breeze.
They used the advantage early, but would come to rue their inaccuracy in front of goal, booting four goals from nine scoring shots.
After a sluggish start, the Hoppers battled into the wind to kick a handy 2.1, remaining in touch with the Cats despite the 16-point deficit.
The second term saw Colbo waste a number of chances to assert their authority on the game, wobbling through 3.7 with the breeze.
To their credit, the Cats were terrific in transition. They were able to add 2.3 to retain a slender six-point lead going into half time.
A sensational third term saw the Hoppers lift their intensity around the contest work the ball forward with precision against the breeze.
They peppered the posts, booting 4.6 to the Cats 4.2 to reduce the margin to just two points at three-quarter-time before the Hoppers’ final term blitz.
Knight said the team held the goal of being within striking distance come the final quarter.
‘‘We knew we could stay in the game,’’ he said.
‘‘We were going to be kicking with the wind in the final quarter, so if we could keep the game close in the later stages of the match, we thought we were a real chance to run over the top and get the win.’’
The side now turn their attentions to next weeks semi-final with Huntly.
‘‘We will back ourselves in,’’ Knight said.
‘‘Huntly are a tough side and we know it will be a challenge, but we believe in the quality of our side and we will back ourselves in.’’