WANGARATTA has dedicated its thrilling 52-51 preliminary final victory over Yarrawonga to Magpie life member Chris Crimmins.
Crimmins, the father of mid-court player Chaye, lost his battle with cancer last week aged 56.
Head coach Lou Byrne praised the side's character to bounce back from an emotionally draining week.
"It's been a really tough week for the club," Byrne said.
"Chris was a really big supporter of the girls and club in general with a lot of our kids having strong connections with him.
"We had a lot to play for and I'm just so proud of the way they played.
"It means a lot."
Wangaratta and Yarrawonga went virtually goal-for-goal throughout the final before the Magpies opened up a mini break of four goals in the final quarter.
The Pigeons refused to roll over however and leveled the scores in the dying seconds.
Last year's champion kept its composure with tall shooter Amanda Umanski scoring her 39th and final goal to break the deadlock with just a minute remaining.
Issy Byrne and Chaye Crimmins also performed admirably for the victors.
Yarrawonga lost few admirers for its performance with Kaitlyn Cummins and Laura Irvine doing a power of work in front of a big crowd at John Flower Oval.
"It was a great game," Byrne said.
"We kept our cool and possession in a really tight finish."
Wangaratta defender Kate Dean said it was a relief to bounce back from last weekend's disappointing loss to Corowa-Rutherglen.
"This feeling is right now indescribable," Dean said.
"It was an awesome win by the girls.
"We went out to play for each other and it was a solid team effort."
Byrne described last weekend's loss to Corowa-Rutherglen as a disaster and predicted a much stronger showing next Sunday.
"That was our worst performance since we got flogged by Lavington last year," Byrne said.
"The girls went out with the right mindset today."