DUNKELD is one step away from completing a fairytale season.
The Western District Playing Area division one newbies are gearing up for a grand final in their first season in the league's highest grade.
Dunkeld (64 shots) defeated City Gold (51) in trying conditions at Mortlake on Saturday.
The most northern team in the district will now take a week off to refresh while the two City Memorial sides - Red and Gold - prepare for a do-or-die preliminary final.
Dunkeld third Stephen Field said the occasion was exciting for the club, which took out the division two premiership at Port Fairy this past season.
He said the club's division five outfit had also qualified for the decider, adding to the buzz.
It's very difficult (to keep it low-key) because this is what we came here to try and achieve.- Stephen Field
"It's exciting with everyone is involved. Everyone is trying to keep it low-key, but it's very difficult because this is what we came here to try and achieve," Field said.
"We've got an opportunity to do it."
Field said the club had benefited from strong recruiting in the off-season. He said that - combined with already strong cohesion among players - was a recipe for success to date.
"We probably brought three very good players into the club in the off-season," he said.
"Troy Greed played last year, but him, David Clements and Chris Burrell have come in and that's been a real strength because we're really competitive across all three rinks.
"We've made a couple of little changes, we've changed around David's rinks order a bit and that seems to have worked well.
"I think a lot of us have grown up playing sport together so we have that bond where we know how to dig each other out of trouble."
Field said Dunkeld would maintain its usual routine of practice in the coming weeks and would watch the preliminary final with interest.
City Red skipper Matt Solly, who led his rink to an important triumph over a flying Warrnambool Gold unit led by Paul O'Donnell, was delighted his side could advance to a preliminary final.
Red (66 shots) downed Warrnambool (51) in a hard-fought contest.
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"We knew it was going to be a tight clash. They always are, especially come finals. It was no different in very trying conditions. It was just gusty," he said.
"The rink performed really well. You still play your percentages in windy weather, it's just a little bit less consistent."
Solly said while his team would play its club rival next Saturday, the positive was that at least one City Memorial side would play in a grand final. It will be a home game for both sides.
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