Sport

Can go from zero to heroes

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September 11, 2017

Rennie's Jarryd Fountain under pressure from Steve Burns and Jackson Milne.

Shepparton East playing coach Dwain Vidler's three-quarter time address could not inspire his troops into another grand final.

David Gillespie attempts to juggle a mark.

Rennie is one win away from an incredible rise from zero to heroes.

A last-quarter Grasshoppers onslaught ended Shepparton East’s premiership defence in Saturday’s preliminary final, earning them another shot at Tungamah in Satirday’s grand final at Katandra.

Craig Ednie, who brought in more than 20 players during the off-season after two straight winless years, saw his side kick six goals to one in the final term to prevail 17.8 (110) to 10.13 (73) at Dookie.

The Eagles, after a dominant start, let a 17-point quarter-time lead slip as the Grasshoppers’ accuracy edged them five points ahead at half-time.

The polar opposite could be said about the Eagles, whose inaccuracy could have potentially cost them the game.

Chase Strawhorn was instrumental up forward, kicking five goals to take his season tally to 64 in 15 games, while Cam Sudholz kicked four as the more mobile target.

Khris Willet, who was sent off for allegedly striking David Gillespie, kicked two majors and will also be praying he can feature in the grand final.

Zack Betson, who kicked four majors last week, had a number of brilliant opportunities to put his side in front during a tense third term, but he could not convert as the Grasshoppers capitalised on the counter.

With the wind in their sails following a six-goal qualifying final victory against the Eagles two weeks ago, there was no holding the Grasshoppers back as they marched into their first grand final since 2011.

Ednie kicked two goals, while Lachlan Davis, Dean Bigger, Matt McCabe and Mitch Collins Bye also featured in the best.

Daniel Campbell (three goals) and Cobey Aynsley (two) combined for half East’s goals from limited opportunities after quarter-time, while Simon Russell concluded his brilliant first season at the club, kicking two sensational goals in the third term to give his side hope.

Jamie Spencer and Joey Perkovic, who were both in doubt to play, justified the gamble to play them, while Matt Rendina snagged a goal from the midfield.

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