Shady Punter - Finals - Round 1 Review
AFL Quebec Finals got off to a riveting start this last Sunday, and while the weather gods may have not delivered, the games certainly did.
First game up was the Men’s Non Elimination Qualifying Final between first placed West Island Wooders and second placed Old Montreal Dockers. The Dockers were welcoming back Darren Murphy for the first time since round four and the Australian was quick to make his mark, slotting throw a first quarter goal. Duff and Leyva also bagged one each while Manassa and Petosa kept the Wooders in touch with a goal apiece. Duff added another in the second while Coogan got his name on the scoreboard but the quarter belonged to Petosa who bagged himself a second quarter hat trick to leave the score just 34 to 33 in favour of the Dockers at half time.
The third quarter was very much like the preceding two with the Dockers and Wooders trading goals all quarter long. The Wooders kicking four courtesy of two apiece from Manassa and Houvion while the Dockers had goals from Murphy, Robson and Leyva. The Wooders went in at three quarter time leading by four points, 58 to 54. With the score so close and so much at stake, the last quarter was a helter belter 15 minutes of football but it alas it was the Wooders who prevailed with a further two goals by that man, Petosa while the Dockers managed to kick just the one through Duff. So it’s the Wooders who move on to the Grand Final while the Dockers most face off against the winners of the Demons / Bombers clash in Thursday evenings Semi Final.
West Island Wooders 11.7.73 defeat Old Montreal Dockers 9.10.64
The First Women’s Semi Finals was between top placed Carleton Warriors and fourth placed Plateau Eagles to see who would advance to Sundays Final and who would be going home. The Eagles with the aid of a strong breeze started brightly and were been well lead by the tenacious Gilmore who herself registered the first major of the game. The Warriors replied though Holly Costanza and the score at quarter time was 7 points each. It was in the second quarter that Bailey Jones introduced herself as potential Australian Football superstar bagging herself two goals and been at the forefront of all that the Warriors did good. Nguyen who was quiet up until this stage started to get the Viv train rolling and slotted her first of the game while Costanza added a second to her tally to see the Warriors lead by four goals at half time. The Eagles were by no means out of it and were themselves been well serviced by the aforementioned Gilmore, Andrusyshyn and Fenelon.
But as so often before this season, the Warriors juggernaut kept gaining momentum and a second consecutive four goal to none quarter saw the Warriors lead at three quarter time by 60 points to 7. Goals by Nguyen (2), Bartulovic and another from Jones saw the Warriors cement their half time lead. It must be noted that Eagles kept pushing but when they were able to get the ball into the Warriors defence, Geci was on hand time and time again to turn the ball over and set up another Warriors attack. Costanza rounded out her and the Warriors game with two goals in the last quarter to see the Carleton women advanced to the final.
Carleton Warriors 11.9.75 defeat Plateau Eagles 2.1.13
The second women’s semi-final was between the inform NDG Giants and the Rideau Shamrocks to see who would be joining the Carleton Warriors in Sundays Finals. As the day progressed the relentless rain made for incredibly muddy, slippery and injury sapping playing conditions. A low scoring game was expected and a low scoring but quality and highly entertaining game of footy prevailed. Goal chances were at a premium and never was this more evident than in the quarter time score of 0.2.2 to 0.2.2. Both teams managed to work the ball from end to end to kick themselves a goal apiece in the second, Kelly Kennedy for the Shamrocks and Margo Legault for the Giants. The half time score saw the Giants lead by the most slender of leads, 1.4.10 to 1.3.9. It is at this stage we most note that the Giants through injuries and absenteeism went into this game undermanned and with the tiring conditions this would come back to haunt them in the end.
The third quarter saw the team’s trade 1.2 each with Parrod for the Giants and Hilary Enns getting on the scoreboard for their teams respectively, with again the bare minimum between the teams at the break. Both teams’ midfields served up an exhibition of sporting heart and desire and their relentlessness in such dire conditions is to be commended, most notably Bureau and Moreau for the Giants and first gamer Anke Patzelt for the Shamrocks along with season veteran Lauren Stoot. The last quarter was as close as the previous three but it was the Shamrocks who managed to get that all important goal on the scoreboard through Janie Leduc. The Giants tried time and time again to get the ball down in to the Shamrocks end but the Shamrocks superior numbers coupled with the Giants growing fatigue meant the Shamrocks were able to repel whatever was thrown them.
Rideau Shamrocks 3.8.26 defeat NDG Giants 2.6.18
The final game of the day was the Men’s Elimination Quarter Final game between the Montreal Demons and Laval Bombers. If the men’s first game of the day had a lot at stake and was played with a high intensity then this game took it to a whole new level. Right from the start both teams came out of the traps with all guns blazing and the game was played at a ferocious tempo. The Bombers started the brighter with two well taken goals from Simon Auger and one from Sam Rogers. It took a Morgan Whyte goal to settle the Demons ship but it would have been the Bombers that went in at quarter time the happier, leading 3.2.20 to 1.2.8.
The second quarter continued in much the same vein as the first and the Bombers were on top, controlling the midfield sector and the signs were looking ominous for the Demons. Despite a fantastic game, Todd Rogers scored his only goal of the game in the second as did Michael Johnson but the pick of the Bombers goal to that point came courtesy of a dashing run by and finish by Stevie Owens. Luke Anderson and Zachary Brandstater kept the Demons in the game with a goal apiece but it was the Bombers who went at half time three plus goals to the good.
It must have been a rousing half time speech from Coach O’Farrell and stand in coach Chris Shee as a different Demons team took to the field for the second half. Anderson and McMurtrie were starting to assert their dominance and Kyle Graham finally got his name on the scoreboard. Despite goals from O’Farrell and another from Whyte it would be the Bombers who would still go in a three quarter time with their noses in front, thanks to a Nathan Strom goal and tenacious defending from Gavidia and Barranco.
The last quarter had it all to play for with only seven points separating the two teams going into it. The Demons pulled it back to less than a goal but Strom once again stepped up and gave the Bombers a six points plus lead with about half the quarter remaining. Were the Demons going to falter at the first stage again for a fourth successive year and bid their AFL Quebec Premiership hopes goodbye? A massive last five or so minutes were on the cards and credit where credit is due the Demons rallied hard and added goals though Graham, O’Farrell and Whyte to see them progress through to Thursdays Semi-final game against the Old Montreal Dockers. For the first time in AFL Quebec history, the Laval Bombers will not be partaking in the show piece game that is, the AFL Quebec Men’s Grand Final.
Montreal Demons 10.5.65 defeat Laval Bombers 8.6.54