Daylesford and Hepburn United’s under 13s travelled to Morshead Park for their tier 2 qualifying final against Vic Park White on Sunday.
The juniors have had an outstanding season after winning the league premiership, but with coach Danny Koleski absent and league best and fairest winner Otis Smith missing, the team faced a challenge.
Vic Park were well organised and challenged the junior Saints, conceding a messy goal after having the majority of the play.
But never dropping their heads, the Saints closed the deficit and found relief from a Mehdi Bennani screamer which was deemed over the line by the linesperson.
Although 1–1 at half time, it was fair to say the Saints were on top. But an injury to tireless midfielder Logan Koleski compounded the team’s issues.
Both teams pressed desperately in the final 15 minutes of play with the Saints back line of Aaro Partonen, Jacob Slater, Otto Thek and keeper, Alex Schreuder, keeping cool and locking it down.
Credit was due to Monty Hughes who showed true class while playing a huge role at centre half, out of his natural position while Tulley Pelham worked tirelessly and defended and attacked with equal vigour.
Zach Koleski was the best on ground, finding his way into the box and hammering home the winning goal with 3.45 left on the clock.
The Saints now advance to the Cup Grand Final. Credit goes to coach Danny Koleski, although absent, as his mentorship shines through.