FIVE years after wining a premiership as a player for Edgeworth, Damian Zane has an opportunity win one in his first season as coach.
The Eagles survived a late scare to hold on for a scoreless draw against Broadmeadow Magic in the second leg of the Northern NSW National Premier
League qualifying semi-final at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday.
The stalemate followed a 3-all draw in the opening leg at Magic Park.Edgeworth progress to the grand final on the ‘‘away-goals’’ rule.
Zane had the quick reflexes of keeper Jim Fogarty to thank for sealing a place in the decider. Magic were awarded a free-kick in injury time and Peter Hhaynes curled a superb effort which was headed for the top corner of the goal.
But Fogarty moved quickly and got enough on the ball to turn it around the post.
‘‘I aged about 10 years in five minutes,’’ a relieved Zane said.
‘‘All I know it was pretty close.’’
Zane, a striker, scored in the Eagles’ 4-2 win over Weston in the 2010 grand final, Edgeworth’s last premiership.
‘‘I won’t say I didn’t have expectations at the start of the year,’’ Zane said.
‘‘To make the grand final, and having won the minor premiership and pushing Melbourne City in the FFA Cup … it has been an unbelievable season.
‘‘Our under-22s and under-19s are also through to the grand final, which is another amazing effort.’’
Zane had special praise for the Eagles’ commitment especially in defence.
‘‘Magic only know one way and that is to go at you,’’ Zane said.
‘‘We are built fairly strong defensively.
‘‘I wouldn’t say we had intentions to sit deep.
‘‘But obviously we knew a clean sheet would get us through to the grand final.
‘Our stoppers, Pat Wheeler, Ayden Brice and Josh Evans were really good against the best strike force in the league.
‘‘It was an unbelievable effort to keep them scoreless.’’
The only down side was for the Eagles was a late second yellow card to Aaron Prichard, who will miss the grand final on suspension.
Magic also finished with 10 men after Jon Griffiths picked up a second yellow card midway through the second half.
In the meantime in the second semi-final, Hamilton Olympic take on Lambton Jaffas at Edden Oval in their 2nd Leg tomorrow. 1st Grade kick off 3pm. Olympic won the 1st Leg 2-1.
Under 22s Olympic vs Em. Jets 1pm kick off
1st Leg Olympic lost 1-6 at home
Under 19s Olympic vs Magic 11am kick off
1st Leg Olympic won 2-1 at home