You’d be lucky to see a ‘speccie’ a month, but if there was an annual award for it, then Wodonga Raiders’ Ethan Boxall would be a shoe-in.
The lightweight Boxall launched himself above team-mate Jaxon Neagle and Wangaratta’s Frazer Dent at the 22-minute mark of the third term.
It was a rollercoaster night after the rugged Daniel Boyle crunched him early in the second quarter, leaving him proppy.
Just on that ability to do the freakish, if Yarrawonga’s Jess Koopman plays for Lavington, then the Panthers are still alive.
In the second quarter, Lavington missed opportunities, kicking two goals five to the Pigeons’ two goals three.
In the first 35 minutes of the game, Koopman landed a set shot from 42m, roved a superb goal and then kicked the goal of the match by manufacturing a major.
“He’s an X-factor and every good side needs one of them, he’s come a long way as he’s matured,” Pigeons’ coach Damian Sexton said.
And Lavington will be sick of the sight of Yarrawonga in finals.
In the past eight years, the pair has met 10 times where the Pigeons hold a seven-three advantage.
In fact, over that time, the Panthers’ overall record is nine wins and 13 losses.
They’ve had five single-figure losses, including Sunday’s gut-wrenching four-point thriller.
And the club will be also be sick of Corowa’s John Foord Oval where it boasts just the one win – against Wangaratta Rovers in the 2014 first semi – and four losses.
That elimination final produced a crowd of 1916 in glorious conditions, while Saturday night’s history-making night final had 2188 people, where Wodonga Raiders won a thriller against Wangaratta by 15 points at Lavington Sportsground.
The match created enormous controversy, with both clubs preferring a day game, but, as it turned out, the weather was at its best heading into the evening.
It was bleak in Albury until 1.30pm, but was relatively clear for the majority of the game, with some light drizzle in the final 10 minutes.
Wangaratta will now have to do what only one team has in the past decade and that’s make a grand final from the first semi.
Albury toppled Lavington by four points in 2012 and then beat Barry Hall’s Wangaratta Rovers in the preliminary final.
However, five goals by Brendan Fevola ended the Tigers’ hopes of a record-equalling fourth straight premiership.
But anyone who writes off Wangaratta is kidding themselves.
It hasn’t been smooth, but the Pies are dangerous.
Lavington veteran Adam Butler will play on next year.
“Butler’s re-signed already, yeah, he was the first,” coach Simon Curtis said.
The former Fremantle draftee will turn 37 in March.
John Hunt, who turns 39 next month and played his 399th game against Yarrawonga, is undecided.
“The other boys will continue their football, whether that’s at Lavington or elsewhere, but I’ve had no indication that they’re not going to play on,” Curtis said.
Luke Garland, who had an injury-interrupted season, has also re-signed.
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