Rochester roar into GV finals

By Brayden May

ROCHESTER'S football side has continued to defy the odds in 2019 and it doesn't look like it will be stopping any time soon.

The Tigers booked their place in the Goulburn Valley League finals with an 11-point victory over Benalla - in a game where the loser would be eliminated from finals contention.

Saturday's result saw Rochy leap to fourth on the ladder, a position which looked impossible after a 0-4 start to the season.

But when the Tigers won six of their next seven, they knew momentum was back on their side - only to lose the next three games.

With their record sitting at six wins and eight losses after 14 rounds, every game became an elimination final and they delivered four straight wins to end the season.

"We couldn't have asked for a better ending to the year," Rochester coach James Flaherty said.

"After the first four games we were chasing tail due to form and injuries and finals looked like a real uphill battle.

"To overcome the adversity is a real credit to the playing group. We've got some real momentum going forward so hopefully there is still a bit of footy to play."

The Tigers now face an elimination final against Seymour at Kyabram on Sunday and they will enter the game full of confidence having got the better of the Lions by 25 points earlier in the season.

"We've developed a good rivalry with them over the past few years," Flaherty said.

"Everyone knows their biggest strength is their midfield with the likes of Jason Cole and Zac Keogh so we will be doing everything we can to stop them.

"If we can at least break even in the middle of the ground, we will give ourselves the best chance of winning the game.

"Our goal is to match our effort from earlier in the season."

Rochester's reserves will also take on Seymour on Sunday but in a qualifying final while the under 18s take on Kyabram in an elimination final.