Border Mail Preliminary Final – Review
OSBORNE produced a sensational second-half to defeat Culcairn by 18 points in the preliminary final at Walbundrie on Saturday.
Trailing by 36 points at half-time, the Tigers kicked 8.10 to 0.4 to record one of their most famous finals victories.
While Connor Galvin kicked five goals and 16-year-old All Australian Sam Stenning oozed class every time he went near the ball.
Coach Matt Rava put the victory down to guts and determination.
“Culcairn applied incredible pressure in the first-half and were all over us.
“We spoke about breaking the game down and staying in touch and the boys were unbelievable in the second-half.
Culcairn had many outstanding performers in the first half with Dane Hallinan continuing his outstanding finals series.
OSBORNE coach Matt Rava knew the Tigers had to roll to dice at half-time to win Saturday’s preliminary final against Culcairn at Walbundrie.
he former Wodonga player responded with a best-on-ground showing as Osborne kicked a staggering 8.10 to 0.4 to run-out 18-point victors.
“I said I needed a bull in the middle to win the footy and he really took it by the scruff of the neck.
“He’s been super for me coming in as assistant-coach.”
Osborne hit the lead for the first time at the 16-minute-mark of the final quarter when Rava kicked a point and fittingly it was Livingstone who followed 90 seconds later to put the Tigers seven points ahead.
Connor Galvin and Sam Stening sealed a famous victory with goals in the dying minutes.
Galvin was again outstanding with five goals while 16-year-old Stening showed his class with two majors and a handful of telling possessions.
Rava was at a loss to explain the comeback.
“It was very unexpected,” Rava said.
“I thought our run and carry and spread could open them up but to their credit their pressure was amazing early.
“They had us on the back foot but it was super pleasing to run the game out like that.
“We know we have the fitness in us and hopefully we can finish like that again next week.”
Jacob McDonnell looks set to miss the grand final after having his hamstring iced at three-quarter-time while big Kodie O’Malley hurt his knee early but managed to play out the game.
Culcairn’s hopes of restoring order late were hampered by Jye Shields struggling with a back injury and eventually being forced from the ground.
“He had a sore back and a bit of everything,” coach Josh Hillary said.
“It caught up with him.
“He lays it all on the line, he’s a warrior.”
Dane Hallinan, Jesse Sutherland, Caleb Simmonds and Max Grintell were strong performers for Culcairn in the first-half.
Grintell gave the Lions all the momentum when he kicked his third goal after the half-time siren, but amazingly it was their final goal of the match.
Adam Prior kicked two goals opposed to Tiger veteran Hayden Gleeson.
Brock-Burrum trained at Brocklesby on Saturday morning.
CULCAIRN coach Josh Hillary was at a loss to explain the Lions’ dramatic fadeout on Saturday.
Hillary, who will step down from the helm after two seasons, put the lacklustre second-half down to a combination of factors.
“It’s bitterly disappointing,” Hillary said.
“We couldn’t have played any better in the first half and we knew we had to sustain it for four quarters.
“I don’t know what the turning point was.
“I can’t get my head around it at this point.
“To only kick four points is extremely disappointing.”
Culcairn may simply have ran out of legs after hard-fought finals victories over Billabong Crows and Holbrook with Jye Shields and Adam Prior carrying injuries into the match.
“You’re playing an elimination every week and a few of the boys were sore going into the finals,” he said.
“I think the footy club is in a good position going forward having seniors, reserves and fourths playing today.”