The 2019 season has officially come to an end with our A and B Grades playing in Grand Finals on the weekend. The club had a very successful season with all Men's and Women's teams qualifying for finals, here's a quick run down of the Men's teams finals campaigns.
D Grade had a tough couple of minor round matches to finish off the season but managed to finish 4th on the ladder setting them up with an Elimination Final vs Adelaide Uni. Unfortunately Uni were too strong on the day, eliminating the D Grade from finals. Thanks to everyone involved with the D Grade over the year. It's always a tricky team to look after with a high volume of changes over the season and playing at a different venue to the other teams most weeks. With that said it's a great group of people and gives blokes an opportunity for a kick that they might not otherwise get. Always fun and entertaining to watch, I'd encourage everyone to get out and support the lads in 2020. They love seeing a crowd and some banter from the sidelines!
C Grade ended their minor round 2nd on the ladder, locking in the double chance. The guys went into the finals series feeling pretty confident after a 10 goal win in the last minor round match against Plympton. The Qualifying Final was a strong team performance on Karen Rolton Oval with the backline forcing Flinders Park into missing opportunities while our forwards took their chances, sealing a 20 point win. Semi Final 2 was at Webb Oval (Glenunga) vs Golden Grove who were the minor premiers. We knew a hard contest was ahead based on our previous encounters with them this season and that's just what we got. Our guys battled hard all day against the often bigger older bodies from Golden Grove but fell just short going down by 8 points. This meant a Preliminary on Park 25 vs Flinders Park. Having beaten them twice in the last month already the guys felt good about the day but knew Flinders Park would come out and put pressure on early. With the tricky cold and windy conditions we had trouble getting goals on the board and meant we were only 5 points ahead at half time. Flinders Park came out in the 3rd and took over the match kicking 4 goals to our 1 and that effectively decided the match. C Grade guys going down by 23 points in the end. The team should be very happy with their season as a whole, the strong season is a testament to the club's depth of players. Thanks to everyone involved with the C Grade over the year, appreciate the dedication of the early Saturday mornings!
B Grade were a very strong team all season, only losing 2 minor round matches all season and finishing 2nd on the ladder, earning the double chance. The Qualifying Final we faced off against Golden Grove who were the team to inflict both minor round losses. Was going to be a tricky contest but home ground advantage had our guys feeling good. Golden Grove came out of the blocks and put on 3 goals to none in the first quarter and another 3 goals to 1 in the second to have a comfortable lead at half time. Unable to overturn the deficit in the second half, ended going down by 45 points. Semi FInal 1 was against Plympton at Webb Oval (Glenunga), the very windy conditions caused troubles for defenders reading the flight of the ball. Our guys were able to get out to an early lead and maintain it for the rest of the day securing a 20 point win and moving onto the Preliminary FInal. Getting another shot at Golden Grove, the guys knew they had nothing to lose. Going behind in the first quarter, the guys had to lift their intensity to match Golden Groves and that changed the game. The defenders locked down conceding only 5 behinds over the next two quarters allowing the midfield and forwards to take control of the match. The last quarter Golden Grove came out with a last ditch roll of the dice but it wasn't enough, our boys straight kicking ensured the 12 point win.
The strength of the A Grade is a testament to the depth of players in the club. Having guys able to step up in case of injury or absence kept the team strong all year. We were confident of a solid finals run knowing our best footy is capable of beating anyone of the day. Finishing the minor round in 2nd locking in the double chance had us line up against Flinders Park for the Qualifying FInal. Having accounted for them pretty comfortably three weeks earlier the guys were prepared for a vastly different Flinders Park to come out for finals. We got away to a couple of goals lead early but inaccuracy in front of goal kept Flinders Park in the game. Fortunately were able to continue to put scores on the board and get out of reach to win by 32 points. Moving onto the Semi Final 2 vs Glenunga at Glenunga. Always going to be a massive match up, we had beaten them both times in the minor round but as we know, finals is a different beast. The first half was a closely fought battle with teams trading blows, Glenunga will feel they missed some opportunities in front of goal to turn up the scoreboard pressure but credit to our defenders for forcing Glenunga into tough chances. The second half was a game of two quarters. Glenunga came out in the 3rd and piled on 5 goals to 1 all but ending the contest. Full credit to our guys in the 4th quarter though, with nothing to lose, came out and hunted down the margin but unfortunately ran out of time going down by 6 points. This setup Preliminary Final day against Flinders Park at Park 25. Having played them twice recently, both teams were well aware of each others strengths and weaknesses. With a Grand Final and Division 2 on the line, it was all or nothing for everyone. The first quarter was a bit of a chess match with both teams warming into the game. The second was where we broke apart the match. Will Ferrari kicking 3 goals in a row within a 5 minute spell helped us to a 26 point half time lead. From there, Flinders Park were forced to chase down the game and with our defence putting on a heap of pressure, were able to hold off the 2nd half charge winning by 15 points.