MERRI Stingrays will chase the Warrnambool District Soccer League title high on confidence after claiming an upset triumph in the second semi-final.
The Stingrays smashed a 10-man Jetty Flat Rangers outfit 4-1 at Harris Street Reserve on Sunday to earn the first berth in the decider in a fortnight.
Liam Ruane scored a first-half brace, netting either side of a red card to Ranger Steve McDonald, as Merri raced to a 2-0 lead at the break.
Michael Romanes pulled a goal back for Jetty Flat in the 51st minute after good build-up through the midfield.
But Sam Blackburn made certain of the win for the Stingrays by lobbing Rangers keeper John Miles four minutes later.
A Robert Beavan own goal then gave the Stingrays a fourth and relegated the Rangers into a preliminary final against Hamilton Raiders on Sunday.
The first semi-final on Friday night at Harris Street Reserve was a much more lopsided affair, with the Raiders eliminating Thunder Hawks 7-1.
Merri captain Alex Sheedy said his side was confident it could upset Jetty Flat, having secured a 2-2 draw three weeks earlier.
“We went into the game strong with our heads up. We kept our strength up all the way through,” he said.
Sheedy said he was nervous after the Rangers made the score 2-1 and almost netted an equaliser. But Blackburn eased the pressure by netting the Stingrays’ third.
“I reckon this team (Jetty Flat) will go into the grand final, they’ll match us again,” he said.
“But because we beat them 4-1, we should go in with our heads up.”