Chasing its first cup title since 2009, Boomers enter next weekend’s final against Myrtleford full of confidence as the only side the Savoys haven’t beaten in 2018.
Boomers won both meetings with the league champions this season, who are gunning for their third straight cup crown.
Wangaratta entered Sunday's semi-final as favourites, but it was Boomers who prevailed 2-0 at Jelbart Park on Sunday, while Myrtleford required extra time to sneak past Melrose, 2-1, in the other fixture.
Boomers coach Andrew Grove opened the scoring for his side early in the second half, before Pieter Noordewier struck late on the counter as Wangaratta searched desperately for an equaliser.
Grove admitted it was one of Boomers’ best games.
“We had a couple more chances in the first half, but we came out in the second half and put that first one away,” he said.
“They came really hard after that, but we stood up and obviously pinched one on the counter attack when they were trying to push for the equaliser.
“I’m really happy with the performance and everyone got through unscathed, so we should have a full strength side next weekend.”
The defensive unit of Nick Brown, Dustin Patten, Decha Sasanid, Nathan Scott and Du Phan was sublime.
“‘Scotty’ (Nathan Scott) played on (Adam) Burchell and shut him down, ‘Browny’ (Nick Brown) played on Julian (Gaona) and shut him down, that whole back section was fantastic," Grove said.
“We were good through the middle and the forward line did its thing as well.”
Relieved Myrtleford co-coach Matt Park knows his side rode its luck in the hard-fought 2-1 win against Melrose to reach a fourth straight cup final.
Lachlan Arkinstall put Melrose in front inside half-an-hour and they were unlucky not to have more to show for it as Trent Rixon was cruelly denied by both posts earlier in the half.
Myrtleford managed to regroup after the break and equalised through a tap-in by Patrick Sibomana when a strike slipped from Melrose goalkeeper Josh Fluss' grasp and trickled toward goal.
Rixon was off moments later with a hip injury which made life difficult for Melrose.
The Savoys dominated late in the game with Park denied by an offside call, while the outstretched boot of Nathan Mirt couldn’t connect with another golden opportunity in injury time.
Scores were locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, but less than five minutes into golden goal star import Tom Youngs capatalised to get his side through.
“We showed a lot of character when we were under the pump in the first half and to come out the way we did in the second half and kill it off in extra time, we’re very happy,” Park said.
“We haven’t had many games over the last four or five years where we’ve absolutely blown them (Melrose) away, but the boys stuck at it.
“The boys at the back really stood up, when you’re under that much pressure and to only concede one goal was excellent.”
Park is expecting a similar contest against Boomers in next Sunday's cup final.
“We haven’t beaten them this year, so it sets it up for a very good game," he said.
“They're very good at the front and back, they’re quite like us in the fact they don’t concede many goals.
“Hopefully the experience of the last couple of years pulls us through.”
Melrose coach Kade Rixon was heartbroken after Myrtleford ended his side’s chances at cup glory for a third straight season.
“It went a bit pear-shaped when Trent went off, we lost a bit of structure,” he said.
“There was no excuses today and I know the boys will be sore tomorrow.
“They will be upset, but they know they’ve had a go and should be pretty happy with themselves.
“You've got to respect a club like that, they don't do what they’re doing through luck.”
Todd Meehan was Melrose’s best, limiting Youngs’ impact until he bobbed up with the match-winner.
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