MYRTLEFORD has staked its claim on the cup after an emotional 3-1 win against Boomers in the knockout semi-final at Savoy Park on Saturday night.
Daniel Cappellari opened the scoring after just 10 minutes and then 10 minutes later combined with English import Dan Summers to make it 2-0.
Summers made it a brace in the second half after Tait Bonito had left three defenders in his wake before the cross was blasted into the top of the net.
Peter Noordewier dragged one back before he and fellow Boomers’ playmaker Sam Graetz were red-carded in the dying minutes.
Savoy coach Michael Sacco said they rode their luck, while a penalty save from keeper Jayden Vescio provided the breathing space they needed.
“We played really well but we had to,” he said.
“They are a very skilful side and we were acutely aware of the danger posed by Andrew Grove, Graetz and Noordewier.
“But saving that penalty made it a very different game — Jayden picked the right way to go and stopped the shot from Adam Campbell.
“Had they scored it would have been 2-1 at half-time and they would have been in the contest.”
Sacco said the plan to use their faster players on Boomers’ three key playmakers had paid dividends.
“Matt Vaccaro was sensational on Noordewier but I was always confident he could contain him,” he said.
“He was on one yellow card, as was Charlie Romain and Cappellari, so there was a risk another card could have ruled him out for the cup final but he has such a level head, is a quality player and all three got through unscathed and will now play in the decider.”
Marco Mancuso was a late withdrawal for Myrtleford having failed a fitness test ahead of the game but is expected to be right for the cup.
Boomers coach Grove said they were beaten by a quality side.
“There is no shame in being beaten by them but the game was a bit like our year, we never really got going,” he said.
“We had a one-on-one and the penalty saved so we had two good chances to get on the scoreboard and couldn’t convert.
“But with everything that has happened to get to the semi-final from sixth was a great effort.”
Sacco said emotions were running high at Savoy Park after the win.
“A few of the older blokes at the club were pretty emotional after the game,” he said.
“It’s a chance for us to win the cup after coming so close a few years ago, as the draw turned it out it was at home so it was a great occasion for the club and players.
“But at the end of the day it simply means we are still alive in chasing the cup.
“We set ourselves to win this and now we have the chance to do just that.
“We are going to enjoy this week and hopefully save our celebrations for next Sunday night.”