by Tim Hallam
Southern Mallee Giants and Ouyen United Demons contested Sunday’s First Semi Final in awkward weather conditions on the superb Sea Lake track. On recent form where the Giants had kicked 31 goals registering a 125 point win against the Demons the bookies had wound out the Demons odds considerably. However a price cannot be put on attributes like determination, grit, endeavour and creativity as the Demons found the appropriate strategies to reverse the form and win the right to compete for a Grand Final berth against the Woomelang Cats in next Saturdays Preliminary Final.
The Giants really squandered many first quarter wind assisted opportunities kicking 1.6.12 to 1.1.7., seemingly tentative and indecisive. Power forwards Bradley Vallance and Kain Robins were under close scrutiny and minor injuries to Kale Barker and Brock Orval saw early reshuffles.
The Demons were much more effective with the wind in the second quarter. Vallance gave a spectacular display of vertical leap marking and reaped three damaging goals along the way. Demon midfield lead by Henry Armour, Jason McGlynn and Dean Staunton were effective. The Giants had their share of the footy but ultimately would rue lost opportunities.
After half time the Giants pulled out all stops and did gain the ascendency but again were wasteful inside fifty. Giants onballers Drew, Burdett, Mahony and Cook were tireless but scoreboard accuracy was again costly for the Giants. The Demons defence were on overdrive, usually running the extra defender. Jace Monaghan was excellent in the key defence role for the Demons repelling many forward thrusts.
The Demons went into the final quarter with a three point deficit and a decreasing wind advantage. Heavy showers frequented and conditions were increasingly difficult. The Giants challenged but the Demons dug deep and displayed the poise to secure three final quarter goals to secure a hard fought 10 point victory. This was an excellent win for the Demons as they have had a season riddled with injury and unavailability. They now face the Woomelang Cats coming off a savaging at the hands of raging flag favorites, the SLN Tigers. I wouldn’t bet a halfpenny bun to a pound of bananas on next Saturdays result – anything could happen.
Last Modified on 08/09/2015 22:22