MELROSE has ended the cups campaign of last year’s beaten finalist Myrtleford, winning 3-2 in yesterday’s quarter- final at Willow Park.
Evan Rawluk pounced on an error in injury-time to put Melrose into next week’s semi-final against Twin City after it had trailed 2-1 early in the second half.
On an adjacent ground, Diamonds repeated its result from the last game of the home and away season with a 1-0 win against Albury United.
Last year’s cup and league champions will now play Boomers in a semi-final double header at Jelbart Park.
Melrose coach Josh Fluss said both teams had been out on their feet.
“If we went into extra time I think we would have all run out of legs,” he said.
“But to be honest we had so many chances in the first half we should really have put the game out of their reach then.
“Credit to Myrtleford, they came back into it and the second half was a real arm-wrestle.
“But Adam Waters worked hard and Jesse Marcuzzi was good at the back as well.
“Tyson Cottam was good up front and created plenty of chances and then we were able to use Evan Rawluk off the bench as an impact player and that’s a huge bonus.”
A disappointed Nathan Mirt said it the first time the Savoys had been able to field a full squad since round seven.
“We probably lacked a little cohesion with so many players coming in and out of the squad,” he said.
“They were probably the better team and our keeper Will Keenan had a great game and then one little mistake at the end and we’re out.
“Brenton Cook and Michael Ferraro were terrific at the back as well and they are leaders at the club for good reasons.”
A Jedd Gvozdenovic goal early in the second half was enough to get Diamonds into the semi-final but a save from keeper Ben Russell was probably the clincher for the defending champions.
Richard Herzina said they talked about the heat and the need to conserve energy.
“The heat certainly told on the players and we spoke about it at half-time, that we tired in the last 10 minutes of the first half and we didn’t want that to happen in the second half,” he said.
“Both keepers probably kept each side in the game — Ben Russell was great for us and Marty Chambers was just as good for United,
“There was just too much space in the middle of the park and if we let Boomers have that sort of space they’ll cut us apart.
“It was an even contribution today but there are some injury concerns and we will have to see who is left next week.”
Boomers dominated their cup quarter coming from 1-0 down to win 3-1.
League champions Twin City also advanced with a 2-0 win against Hotspurs and despite resting midfielder James Coutts.