365 reasons to celebrate as Elsternwick completes their 2023 fairytale

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 3 Men's

Mitch Dyer

It almost felt like a year in the making, but finally, at the end of a long and brutal season, it was Elsternwick that hoisted the premiership cup as champions of Division 3 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

It was familiar territory for Elsternwick, who just last week dismantled a competitive Cobras side to continue their march toward a Division 3 Grand Final, facing their toughest challenge of all: an up-and-about Hawthorn.

Just two weeks prior, the sides met in a huge top-of-the-table clash that saw the Hawks run out as big winners, automatically booking their spot in the Grand Final, offering somewhat of a preview of what might come this past weekend.

The game started like most finals, with hard bodies and swinging momentum. Elsternwick drew first blood in the first via a Josh Oliver bullet before entering the second term just ahead of an accurate Hawthorn outfit.

The game had just about everything in the first half, with a Hawthorn brigade of Stephen Dicintio and others trying to will their side back into the contest, targeting the inform forward, Will Meehan, and Jack Kenny as much as possible in the process.

Less than two kicks separated the pair going into the half, with the premiership quarter proving pivotal for each side. If it were to come down to a shootout in the last, it could spell disaster for Elsternwick.

But that wouldn’t be the case.

Like a side rejuvenated by the pain of a straight sets exit in 2022, they came out with a bruising brand of football that simply could not be matched, booting five majors in the process and extending their lead to 34 points heading into the final term.

The amazing thing about finals football is that you just never quite know when a miracle is going to happen. Given it was just 6 kicks away and relentless defensive effort from pulling that off, the Hawks went into the last with a belief they might just pull one off.

To their credit, the Hawks piled on 5 goals in the last to put up a fight. However, in the end, it was no match for an astonishing 10-goal to 5 quarter from Elsternwick, who left absolutely no stone unturned, charging toward an emotional, spirited victory and running away with the premiership by 67 points.

I’m sure as they read this, the celebrations are still continuing for Elsternwick, who now find themselves moving up to Division 2, while Hawthorn comes off an incredible season to reload and reassess, hoping to have their own Elsternwick moment come 2024.