WESTERN BORDER FOOTBALL 2018
WESTERN BORDER FOOTY PREVIOUS SEASONS
THE 2017 BRIAN HENNESSY MEDAL
WON BY BRETT O'NEIL (for 3rd time)
All reports by Terry Willoughby unless otherwise mentioned
Teams: Casterton, East Gambier, Millicent, North Gambier, South Gambier and West Gambier
LEAGUESBEST TEAM EVER
EAST GAMBIER END A 29 YEAR DROUGHT TO CONVINCINGLY WIN GRAND FINAL
By Terry Willoughby, September 25, 2017
East Gambier may have considered themselves the underdogs but that wasn’t how they played. Winning the toss was the first positive and they had the better part of play in the early stages as the North defence withstood the challenge.
North counter attacked late in the first quarter and also had plenty of time inside their 50 metre zone but couldn’t score a goal against the determined East defence led by Frazer Scanlon and Jayden Eldridge who continually frustrated the North forwards and what they didn’t clear they bottled up. Two late goals to East’s Kevvy Thomson gave them a 13 point lead under heavy, threatening skies. East were quick to take some control of play in the second quarter with Jesse Fry playing an outstanding game around the midfield and stoppages. McCallum goaled early in the term for East as North struggled to go forward with heavy rain falling. Moretti put Norths’ first goal on the board but they were being forced into constant error by the willingness of East to chase and tackle.
East goaled again and had now opened up a three goal lead in the difficult conditions. North had wasted chances with poor finishing and decision making and East again punished them with a goal in the dying stages of the quarter to lead by 25 points at the long break. Jesse Fry continued to be the star for East along with Kieselbach in the ruck, Tully Balshaw and Frazer Scanlon. North’s running brigade led by Brock Egan, Nic McInerney and Brad Stafford were finding it hard to get into the open and turned the ball over under pressure.
The second half started in bright sunshine, a marked contrast to earlier and again it was East Gambier who made the better start with McCallum getting his second goal to put the margin beyond 5 goals. North attacked relentlessly but still couldn’t find the goals until Sam Stafford, a quiet player, goaled after a free to bring the margin back to 28 points. East continued to tackle strongly and harassed North at every turn before goaling again and the game was fast slipping away from North who were unable to link up play at any stage. Tom McLennan goaled late in the third quarter for North who were now only four goals in arrears but they had managed only three for the game and also looked tired.
East on the other hand were combining well and started the last quarter with another change in conditions, strong winds, were making play difficult as North, with many players up the ground tried to mount a challenge. The East defence easily cut off most forward moves with Eldridge and Scanlon outstanding. North could only manage a series of behinds which summed up their day. East on-baller Jack Dawe missed a sitter in the goal-square but made amends moments later and East were jubilant. Matt McInerney got a token goal for North as the clock wound down but it was East Gambier’s day and they won their first flag in 29 years. Jesse Fry was adjudged best on ground for East who had many good players led by Frazer Scanlon at full-back, Mark Keiselbach in the ruck, Eldridge, Tully Balshaw, Matt Dempsey and Dawe. It was a despondent and tired North Gambier at the finish. Their better players were Nic McInerney, Brad Stafford, Tim McInerney in defence, Jake Schutz and Egan.
Grand Final on September 24, 2017
Best: East – Not available. North - N. McInerney, J. Schutz, T. McInerney, F. Marshall. Goals
Goals: East - Kevin Thomson 3, Jack Dawe 2, Matthew McCallum 2, Matt Dempsey 1, Patrick Hatch 1, Jesse Fry 1. North - Sam Stafford 1, Matthew McInerney 1, Tom McLennan 1, Nick Moretti 1