A JARRED Portegies penalty blasted straight down the middle in the 116th minute - that's what it took to book Panorama FC a spot in its first Western Premier League grand final.
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The successful penalty handed Panorama a 3-2 win against Parkes Cobras at Proctor Park in a preliminary final that had a host of plot twists.
Panorama took just 10 seconds to get on the board and led 2-0 at half-time. It could've been an even bigger lead too as the Goats hit the framework three times.
Then in the second half the Cobras, who won two penalties shoot-outs over the past fortnight to make the preliminary final, fought back.
They scored from a penalty then with 15 to go a Goats own goal locked it up at 2-all.
That meant an extra-time period of 30 minutes and when the final whistle blew, it was Panorama who advanced to join Waratahs in the decider.
Panorama coach Ricky Guihot is delighted his men get a title shot, but labelled their second half as 'terrible'.
"We started unbelievable and then we came out of the change rooms in the second half we were like 'job's done'," he said.
"But you've got to keep going, it's a 90-minute game, you can't slack off. But to their credit once extra-time started, I thought we were the better side for the 30 minutes.
"Second half we we terrible, we've got to fix that, but I thought we were the better side in that 30 minutes of extra-time."
For Parkes, after finishing the regular season in sixth, it was a tough way to bow out.
Over the past three weeks the Cobras have played more than six hours of finals football.
"It is heart-breaking, it's a shame," coach Meg Kempson said.
"All credit to Pano, they came out firing and won that game in the first half, that's essentially where they won it. I can't fault their effort, I can't fault the effort of our boys.
"That's the nature of football, we were lucky the last two weeks and now our time has come."
Panorama could not have wished for a better start to the grand final qualifier when a Will Fitzpatrick header helped Jaiden Culbert get in behind the Cobras' defence.
He then tucked the ball into the net to make it 1-0 after just 10 seconds.
Three minutes later Culbert very nearly doubled the tally after getting in behind the Parkes defence once more.
He laid a pass off to Steve Long who drew out the goalkeeper and crossed back in to his fellow striker, but Culbert's shot was blasted into Parkes defender Hayden Westcott.
The chances continued to come for Panorama in the first half. A long range Portegies free kick hit the post, a Long effort rattled the crossbar, while a Fitzpatrick shot from outside the box was denied by the framework as well.
Though Panorama enjoyed more possession and the better of the field position, Parkes was not without its chances. Mitch Hutchings drew a diving save from Chris Davis in the 24th minute.
Five minutes out from half-time the Goats finally got a second goal and it was thanks to a bit of individual brilliance from Ryan Campbell, who attacked down the left edge then converted from a tight angle.
Panorama went to the sheds well on top, but the second half brought with it a momentum shift.
Six minutes after play resumed Brent Morgan was brought down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Bateson made no mistake with the penalty as it became 2-1.
That further lifted Parkes and the men in purple continued to press. The pressure told when, with 15 left on the clock, a Hutchings cross struck Panorama defender Brad Campbell then rolled into the net.
It was a hard moment for Panorama to take.
"It's been a bit of a story of late, two deflections against Tahs the week before then that one there," Guihot said.
"The thing is Brad has had an absolutely stellar season, he's improved out of sight and every time he's gone on the pitch he's been great. That was just unlucky."
Before regulation time finished Panorama lost skipper-defender Brent Osborne to injury and given Parkes' record over the past fortnight, there were some nervous fans.
Both sides had chances in extra-time, but it was Panorama that capitalised thanks to Portegies to take the win.
Still, Guihot gathered his players together before they sung their team song and stressed their mission is not yet over.
"We've gone the hard route, but it's job not done," he said.
"Now we turn to training Tuesday and Thursday, we get some rest in these guys legs, then we fire up for Tahs."
Kempson says that Panorama and Waratahs "are deserved grand finalists", but she is still proud of what her side achieved in 2022.
"I always knew the boys were capable, but I think the whole town really started to pay attention to us in the last few weeks and really rally behind us," she said.
"I think it's a sign of what's growing in Parkes and it's really exciting for country football that we're starting to build and develop and take on the bigger towns."
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