EDENHOPE-APSLEY has clinched a memorable win on Sunday to advance to the Horsham District league’s preliminary final.
The Saints defeated the more fancied Jeparit-Rainbow at Dock Lake Reserve by 17 points to continue its remarkable season.
Coming from fourth, Edenhope-Apsley now has a chance to earn a spot in the Horsham District league grand final.
The side will face Kalkee in the preliminary final at Quantong on Saturday.
Saints coach Chris Oliver said there was great belief in the group.
“There was a good feeling on the track and going into the game that we could do this,” he said.
“We had Jeremy Kealy playing his 150th game with a broken nose and you need those kind of guys.
“We would have taken a preliminary final at the start of the season, that’s for sure.”
Storm coach Tim Inkster said his side underestimated the Saints early in the contest.
“Our work rate in the first quarter was bad and we really did underestimate them,” he said.
“We knew what they were going to do and how they go about their football and we just didn’t fire a shot.
“They work so well as a team – I couldn’t tell you who their best player was but they didn’t have one bad player. They are a solid team.”
Edenhope-Apsley had the best possible start, kicking five first quarter goals while keeping the Storm to just two behinds.
The Storm could not get the ball out of the middle. The Saints were too fast and skillful for the Storm in a quarter where everything seemed to go Edenhope-Apsley's way.
Saints forward Briley Gould kicked a couple of classy goals while Dylan Achison was reliable from the set shot as the Saints took a 33-2 lead into the first break.
Inkster was scathing of his side's first quarter performance and the Storm responded.
The Storm kicked the first four goals of the second quarter to get back into the contest. Storm talls Daniel Batson and Peter Weir started to get on top of their defenders and cause issues for the Saints.
When the Storm's Ash Clugston kicked truly from the set shot late in the second quarter the margin was down to just four points.
The Saints re-found their groove in the third term and kicked the first three goals of the quarter to get back out to a handy lead.
Edenhope-Apsley could have been much more in front but wasted a host of chances in the third term.
A goal to the Storm mid-way through the quarter kept the side in the hunt.
The Storm started the last quarter strong. Batson kicked a goal from straight in front before the Storm kicked the next to bridge the gap to just three points.
The Saints then kicked the next two goals.