THE GREAT ESCAPE

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By: Hayden Tilbrook

YOUNG-GUN Lachlan Wilson was the hero for Lilydale as the Falcons snatched an unbelievable Round 2 victory from Park Orchards on Saturday afternoon.

As the sun set on Lilydale Sports Oval, with the Falcons trailing by a point and the ball in the Sharks’ forward-50, it appeared as if Lilydale would be resigned to its first loss of the 2019 EFL Division 1 season.

As the clock ticked under 20 seconds remaining, a frantic passage of play saw the ball transitioned from Lilydale’s defensive-50, through the middle of the ground and into Wilson’s waiting hands in the forward pocket with mere seconds remaining.

“I knew there wasn’t a lot of time left, looking at the clock about a minute earlier,” Wilson told EFL Media.

“I just tried to throw it on the boot pretty quickly and got pretty lucky I reckon.”

 

The Falcons’ hero crumbed the ball and snapped truly from the right pocket, with the siren sounding as the ball travelled through the goalposts as wild celebrations from Lilydale players ensued.

“I couldn’t believe (that I’d kicked the goal), I didn’t know what to think, I was in a bit of shock,” Wilson said.

“They (Wilson’s Lilydale teammates) got to me pretty quick, it was like a bit of a stampede coming in.

“They were pretty stoked as well.”

The unlikely five-point victory over Park Orchards was Lilydale’s second come-from-behind victory in as many weeks, with the Falcons overcoming an 18-point deficit at three-quarter time to defeat Doncaster East in Round 1.

Wilson said the belief of the playing group was sky-high.

“I think it just shows that we’ve got that real never-say-die attitude,” he said.

“We’ve been together now for probably two or three years this main group … it’s never over ‘til it’s over and that’s the way we like to play.”

Lilydale’s impressive start to the season comes after the heartbreaking of a blowout loss in the 2018 Division 2 grand final, falling 10 goals short of Doncaster East.

Despite the disappointment, Wilson believes the experience gained from the grand final appearance has helped mature the young Falcons’ playing group.

“Obviously it was a big learning curve,” he said.

“But given we’ve kept the same group again, then hopefully we can give it another crack this year.”

While the club has placed no restrictions on possibilities for the 2019 campaign, the Lilydale goal-sneak said the players wouldn’t make the mistake of getting too far ahead of themselves.

“Obviously to play finals (would be the goal),” Wilson acknowledged.

“But we’re just taking it one week at a time – we come up against East Ringwood this week and hopefully can get the job done.”

 

 

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