YOUNG veteran Ben Dobson served a dual role for Koroit in its second semi-final triumph on Saturday at Gardens Oval — match-winning forward and emotional barometer.
Twice Dobson let everyone at the venue know his feelings after kicking timely goals for the Saints in a match where emotions on both sides were contained.
Koroit prevailed 13.14 (92) to 10.5 (65) against reigning premier Warrnambool, set up with a decisive second quarter in which Dobson kicked three goals.
Dobson’s guttural war cry after booting the second rallied the troops, as the Saints added another two goals for a 6.9 to 3.4 lead at half-time.
The utility, 23, said coach Adam Dowie encouraged his players to celebrate their goals with teammates.
Explaining his second joyous outburst after a goal late in the third quarter, Dobson explained: “the siren went so I carried it into the huddle”.
He had not long returned to the field after being briefly sidelined with an ankle injury and was still proppy after a recovery session at East Beach late on Saturday afternoon.
Wrapped in a towel as the temperature dipped, Dobson quickly brushed aside injury concerns and pushed the conversation towards team objectives.
“Compared to how we finished last year (elimination final loss) it was fantastic that feeling after the match,” he said.
Dobson, who has played in defence and onball this season, said his role as a permanent forward involved playing alongside his brother Sam at half-forward.
“I just went into the game trying to get as many tackles and one percenters as I could,” he said.
“I have to give credit to the midfielders (for the delivery). We’ve all worked pretty hard on our ball use.”
Asked to reflect on his season, Dobson said he didn’t judge it individually.
“I judge it on team performance and we were really consistent,” he said.
“That showed when we finished on top.”
A member of Koroit’s 2009 premiership team, the Dobson brothers have the added pressure of key attacking roles on Saturday week.
“I’m not a very nervous person,” Ben Dobson said of his grand final preparation.
“I try not to think about it too much.”
In the meantime, he has sibling bragging rights after outscoring Sam with four goals to two on Saturday.
But Sam countered with a leading contender for goal of the match when he cut off a Warrnambool defensive clearance on the scoreboard flank, broke a tackle and converted from near the boundary approaching the 50-metre arc.