WANGARATTA will not get the chance to contest for a third straight under 18 Ovens and Murray premiership after its title aspirations were derailed by Lavington in yesterday’s preliminary final.
Despite playing on its home ground and leading by five goals at half time, the young Magpies simply couldn’t halt the Panthers’ second half surge and went down by 16 points.
Lavington responded to Wangaratta’s six-goal second term with a six-goal third quarter to take an eight-point lead into the final stanza before holding on 12.11 (83) to 10.7 (67).
Kevin McDonald booted three goals for Lavington, including the sealer, while Luke McLellan cut the Magpies up with his lightning pace and superb skill.
Wangaratta headed into the match as the only local team left in the O&M finals series and were heavily backed to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat to Albury and move into the grand final.
However, the Panthers had other ideas and right from the first bounce, sent the Magpies a message that they weren’t going to be pushed aside easily.