THE weekend of come-from-behind wins in the Orange and District Football Association had an early start in the over-35s competition on Saturday when Denley Moor clawed back the Millthorpe Tigers’ two-goal lead to win the elimination final.
Before the win, Millthorpe’s tally for the season stood at four victories to one over Denley, but the Barnstoneworth side kept up its series of finals wins.
Fresh from last week’s close victory over premiers Gladdyatahs, Denley went into the match with boosted confidence only to find themselves 3-1 down at half-time.
With the Tigers ranks depleted by injury and down to the bare 11 by the end, Denley struck back with goals from Phil Bennett and the second of a double from Matt Barr late in the match to send the game into extra time.
The extra 15 minutes each way almost found a breakthrough when winger Matt Barr was felled in the box.
The resulting penalty saw injured Denley striker Harley Smith step up to the ball.
The forward’s decision not to opt for either side, but send the ball up the middle found the Tiger’s keeper waiting, and the scores were locked 3-3 at full-time.
The first penalty kick from each side was successful, but Denley keeper Pat Driver blocked Millthorpe’s second, sending his side’s supporters into raptures.
When the Tigers sent their next shot wide and Denley converted, the balance tipped and Denley Moor’s end-of-season run claimed yet another scalp, up 4-2 on penalties.
Denley will meet club-mates and minor premiers Barnstoneworth United in the over 35s grand final at Brabham’s Stedman Stadium at 12.50pm on Saturday.
A close match is tipped: United has won the last two games between the two sides, but in both a single goal has been the difference.