PRAHRAN Assumption ended a decade long hoodoo with a season saving come- from- behind win over Therry Penola in VAFA Division 1 on Saturday.
Not since 2012 had the Two Blues won at John Pascoe Fawkner Reserve and when players and supporters arrived to see the all too familiar mud and slush the scene was set for more of the same.
From the first bounce Therry Penola, seemingly buoyed by the 1982 premiership re-union proceedings behind closed doors, attacked with ferocity.
And their skills belied a team that had won just two games.
At quarter time the home team led by 21 points but worse was to come.
When Therry Penola drilled a goal from 40m out mid-way through the second quarter the margin had ballooned to a game high 34 points with the scoreline 8-5 to 3-1.
If a sign of a good team is to somehow win when a rival is playing to its best while you are having a bad day, then this was such an occasion.
The fact Therry Penola was playing to its maximum was compounded by a host of Two Blues players who were unsighted or players such as key defenders Jayden Williams and Joel Hume made critical errors.
Williams and Hume, so assured and dominant all season, had their colours lowered as the home team threaten to run amok.
“We thought we had you,” a Therry Penola stalwart commented after the game.
To be fair so did most Two Blues supporters, resigned to the Therry Penola ‘curse’ continuing.
But after conceding that 34 point lead mid-way through the second quarter in an amazing switch in momentum the Two Blues kicked 10 of the next 12 goals with the final score 13-11 (89) to 12-9 (81).
Coach Brett Dickinson praised his troops for a “fantastic win, one of mateship and grit.”
The Two Blues remain a game and a half outside the four but with its fate in its own hands.
In hindsight goals to Matthew Clifford and Zac Podmore courtesy of 50m penalties just before half-time proved crucial as it kept the game alive.
Gradually the Two Blues edged back into the game in the third quarter after being monstered at clearances and stoppages.
Deep in time on Tony Mirabella and Podmore goaled to cut the margin to nine points.
Coach Dickinson spelled out the equation at three quarter-time, if you want to play finals you simply have to win.
The Two Blues dominated the opening minutes with Joe Whiting passing to Clifford for a goal and then a Tim Maya handball to Clifford for another and after three minutes the Two Blues had hit the front for the first time.
After a 10 minute goalless arm wrestle skipper James Musster goaled on the run then Riley Hogan produced a remarkable soccer goal.
By then players were out on the feet but fleet of foot Hogan covered more than 80m pursued by Therry Penola defenders with his last soccer kick dribbling over the goal line icing the game.
Hogan, after a quiet first half, and Whiting were the last quarter heroes as the Two Blues over powered the tiring home team,
With two minutes remaining Therry Penola kicked two consolation goals but by then the game had been won.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 1-1 6-1 9-6 13-11 (89)
THERRY PENOLA 4-4 8-6 10-9 12-9 (81)
Goals Clifford 5, Podmore, Mirabella, Plaza 2, Hogan, Musster.
Best. Clifford, Chapman, Bowes, Hogan, Podmore, Whiting.
A fourth win for the season against a severely undermanned Therry Penola.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 5-6 9-10 12-15 15-22 (112)
THERRY PENOLA 0-1 0-1 0-2 0-4 (4)
Goals. Hann, Gottschalk 3, Beddison 2, Taylor, J Matherson, Andrews, Garlick, Cibrias, Panagiatoros, Greaves.
Best. Gottschalk, Beddison, Pavlov, Woods, S Capra, Martin.