Valley has done what it set out to do – head straight to the Citizens Shield final.
The defending champion secured a 20-17 win against Old Boys in the top playoff clash on Saturday to immediately qualify for the final.
Old Boys got on the board first through a penalty, but Valley was the first to cross the line for a try. Old Boys then returned fire in kind soon after to take the lead.
From there, Old Boys held off Valley for much of the game and looked to be in control for the most part.
Valley was trailing with five minutes to go and “did it tough” to work its way back into match and, through a converted Blake Welsh try, regain the lead to win the contest.
Valley coach Glen Sturgess said he was proud of the young players who held their composure on the field until the end.
“We didn’t give away any silly penalties, we stuck to our guns, and when we got our opportunity we took it,” Sturgess said.
However, Valley was yet to put on a full 80-minute performance with which the players and coaching group were satisfied.
“We know we’re through to the final, but we know we can play better … we hold ourselves to a pretty high standard and being defending champions we expect to hold ourselves to that standard.”
Valley had identified the “small wins” from the match at training, such as holding Old Boys to two tries, for the players to recognise the progression, and would continue training for the final in two weeks’ time.
“The hard work starts now. We go to work and we iron out all the kinks. We look at ourselves and figure out what we can do better.”
In the other playoff last weekend, Kurow stormed home to beat Maheno 54-39 in Kurow. It was a comprehensive performance from a Kurow team that has improved throughout the season.
Kurow and Old Boys play each other tomorrow at 2.30pm at Whitestone Contracting Stadium in a bid for a place in the final.
The winner will go on to play Valley for the Citizens Shield on July 24.
There can only be one winner – Union or Kurow.
The two president’s grade teams meet in the final tomorrow for the Burns Shield.
Union will go in with a slight upper hand having beaten Kurow in the two round-robin clashes this year.
The game kicks off in Ngapara at 1pm.