HISTORY-chasing Koroit is expecting a selection headache as its prepares for its fourth-straight Hampden league grand final.
The Saints – eyeing the rare feat of a hat-trick of premierships – denied Port Fairy a dream finish, surviving a thrilling preliminary final finish at Reid Oval on Saturday.
North Ballarat Rebels-listed trio Willem Drew, Jarrod Korewha and James Gow all played in the 8.9 (57) to 7.10 (52) victory, replacing injured trio Tim Martin, Tim McIntyre and Marcus Darmody.
James North and Chris McLaren could also come into consideration.
Koroit coach Adam Dowie said a number of players would throw their hands up for a spot in the grand final team.
“Now the headaches start,” he said.
“Guys are going to say they’re right and most of the time I believe our players but this week they’ll have to prove they’re fit.”
The match was a battle of the defences as wind wrecked havoc.
Koroit used Dallas Mooney as a spare man in to perfect – the experienced back man cutting off countless Seagull forward entries.
Another established performer, Port Fairy leader Sam Rudolph, was important in the Seagulls’ back six too.
“I am not sure we played overly well,” Dowie said.
“I don’t think we kicked the ball at all well. I thought our decision-making and execution at times wasn’t great.”
Port Fairy took an 11-point lead into quarter-time after kicking a wasteful 2.5 with the wind in the opening term.
Koroit wrested the momentum in the second term, booting four unanswered goals to be 17 points up at the main break.
Seagull Isaac Martin kicked their only score of the term – a point after the siren.
The second half started as a stalemate before defender-turned-forward Colin Harwood inspired Port Fairy with a long bomb goal 12 minutes in.
A turnover in defence then gifted Jack Hollmer a goal, trimming the Seagulls’ deficit to three points.
Sam McCartney continued to the Seagull revival to put them in front deep into the third.
Enter Koroit’s finals experience. Ben Goodall produced a much-needed goal against the momentum to put the Saints three points clear at the final change.
A Guy Phelps’ major a minute in again lifted the Seagulls’ hopes before Isaac Templeton and Will Couch gave the Saints breathing space.
Kaine Mercovich kicked the final goal of the game at the 23-minute mark but time ran out for the success-starved Seagulls.