Shock victory: Laharum upsets Kalkee to claim HDFL flag
IN a grand final win that will resound around the Horsham District Football League for years to come, Laharum upset five-time reigning premier Kalkee at Horsham City Oval on Saturday.
Facing a 13-point deficit at three-quarter-time after being outscored five goals to one in the third term, the Mountain Men might have been the only ones at the ground who believed they could win.
Their belief was enough.
Laharum piled on six goals in the final quarter to stun Kalkee and the rest of the league to win by 17 points. The result sent the Laharum crowd into raptures and broke the Kees' five-year stranglehold on the competition.
It gave the Mountain Men their first premiership since 1995 and eighth overall in the district league.
It was the first time Laharum had beaten the Kees since round two, 2008 a year where it lost the grand final to Kalkee.
In their three previous meetings this season, the Kees won by a combined margin of 180 points. Laharum coach Marcus Demaria said the improbable win was a testament to the team's self-belief.
"Everyone wrote us off," he said. "No one picked us to win.
"Everyone came here expecting Kalkee to win by a big margin but we proved everyone wrong."
The Mountain Men made it a physical affair from the outset.
Captain Sam Winfield exemplified their effort and determination early in the first quarter when his chase-down tackle on Simon Hobbs prevented a sure Kalkee goal.
A six goal to three opening term was exactly what Laharum needed but nobody was counting Kalkee out.
The reigning premier beat Edenhope-Apsley in last year's season decider after trailing by 27 points at the first change and looked to repeat the performance on Saturday.
The Kees added another three goals to Laharum's two in the third quarter and a dominant third term had the Kalkee faithful dreaming of six straight premierships.
With only half an hour of football separating them from their aim, it seemed nothing would stop the Kees.
But the Mountain Men had other plans.
Laharum endured a tense 10-minute stretch at the start of the final quarter, which saw one goal scored on either side.
The floodgates then opened and the team slammed on the final five goals of the match to seal the most unlikely of premierships.