Season from heaven for Manly-Warringah
Manly Warringah have created history in winning the Premier Division Grand Final and claiming the the Bill Hart Cup after defeating Pennant Hills by 8 points in a thriller at Blacktown. No club in the leagues history has been promoted into the top competition and won the flag which is what the Wolves were able to do.
In a cracking game of football where the lead changed reguarly throughout the day, Manly Warringah came from 11 points down halfway through the last to overrun the Demons and take the Premier Division premiership 11.14 to 11.6 over Pennant Hills.
On a beautiful day day for footy both teams were ready for the contest when the first ball was bounced and after an even start to the match it was Pennant Hills with the first goal of the Grand Final when Tim Wales snapped a goal through from 25 metres out.
After that however it was all the Wolves in the first quarter with great forward pressure keeping the ball locked in their fifty but some innaccurate kicking at goal failed to capitalize on their dominance until Lachlan Kilpatrick picked up a loose ball and drilled one through the middle from 15 metres out to get the first goal on the board for Manly Warringah.
The Wolves continued to show dominance winning most of the ball around the ground but Pennant Hills worked their way back into the contest and kicked two goals near the end of the quarter to take a two point lead into the first break.
The Demons came out firing in the second with goals from Matt Carey and Luke Bilbe stretching the Demons lead out to 13 points 8 minutes into the second quarter before Phelan Medalist Tyrone Armitage kicked a goal after a fifty metre penalty to cut the margin to 7 points. Soon after Ranga Ediriwickrama stamped his class on the game kicking back to back goals to give Pennant Hills a 19 point lead halfway through the second quarter. Manly Warringah again responded kicking the next two goals to only trail by a goal at the main break.
Manly Warringah then came out firing in the premiership quarter kicking the first three goals to open up a 10 point lead with all the momentum before Matt Carey kicked a captains goal to cut the lead to 6 points at the final change.
Pennant Hills were the first to strike in the last when Ediriwickrama kicked his fourth to level the scores and then a Brant Jack floater from 35 metres out put the Demons in front by a goal. When Carey dribbled one through to kick his third, the margin was out to 11 points midway through the last quarter and it looked like Pennant Hills had one hand on the premiership trophy. But the Wolves weren't minor premiers for nothing and when Kilpatrick snapped a goal the margin was back to five points. Burke then bombed one from fifty which somehow sailed over a pack in the goalsquare and through for a goal the Wolves had hit the lead by a point. A Jack Lynch mark and goal from the goalsquare with under two minutes to go put the Wolves up by 8 points and the flag was their's as the siren sounded to crown Manly Warringah premiers of 2013.
Half forward Lachlan Kilpatrick ran hard all day setting up numerous attacking plays and was awarded the Rod Podbury Medal as the Best on Ground. He was well supported by backman Harrison Koch while midfielder Connor Pettersson stamped his mark on the game, in particular in the second half. For the Demons, Aaron Crisfield was in and under at every contest with fellow midfielders Damian Dell'Aquila and James Dunn playing big games.
For Pennant Hills it was a hard way to lose having come from fourth on the ladder to be only a couple of kicks away from being crowned premiers.
For Manly Warringah, the 2013 Premier Division premiership crowned what was an amazing year for the club after promotion into Premier Division, winning the Under 18 Division Two premiership as well as the Club Championship.