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The 2019 Final Series kicked off on Saturday at Fish Creek with Fish Creek lucky enough to get a home final against Toora in the 1st Semi Final played at Terrill Park.

Although the rain held off for the match the ground conditions were difficult and there was a strong wind blowing to the creek end which provided a 4-5 goal advantage.

The Magpies have had a tough year with injury playing a significant part in their season and the loss of their Captain Luke Manders with a one week suspension was not going to help their cause while the Kangaroos were almost at full strength with only a couple of players unavailable for the game.

The match got underway with Toora kicking with the wind advantage and it wasn’t long before the Maggies were on the board with a quick goal to Schober getting his team off to a great start.

The Kangaroos settled however and with some great teamwork from their backs they were able to lock down on the Toora forwards and while Toora kept attacking, Fish Creek were able to repel further attacks on goal and in turn create some attacking opportunities themselves. At the 15-minute mark, Fish Creek’s Brent Cooper intercepted a handball deep in their F-50, his kick got the Kangaroos’ opening goal of the day to draw even.

Toora answered immediately however through Pintus with a tough kick from the boundary. Fishy again rallied against the wind and a couple of late goals resulting again from great teamwork sent the Kangaroos into the first break a goal up.

The game was turned on its head in the second quarter with the Kangaroos running riot with an eight-goal to zero quarter that would see them 60 points up at the main break. Shaw was running rampant up forward for the Kangaroos with five goals to half time and with great support from the other forwards, the Kangaroos looked dangerous every time they went forward.

Griffin and Pavlou battled hard for the Pies but the Kangaroos had winners all over the ground and they used the wind advantage very well. Into the second half and Toora would need something special to get themselves back into this one but the Fish Creek team weren’t about to let that happen, Fish Creek locked down in their backline again and even with the wind advantage the scoring opportunities were limited for the Magpies.

In turn the Kangaroos were also able to score three goals against the wind to Smith, Voorham and Oaten, and at three-quarter time the margin was out to 75 points.

Schober started the last term positively for Toora, booting his final of three goals for the game, but it was still all Fish Creek. The Kangaroos came home with the wind and a nine-goal to two quarter completed an absolute rout for the Kangaroos.

Shaw was extremely damaging finishing with nine goals at full forward with great support all over the ground from his team mates Fish Creek run out big winners by 119 points.

“I thought we played really well in the first two terms and I was very happy with the skills in the tough conditions,” Fish Creek coach Greg Hoskin said. “The pressure we applied to them was telling as well and it made scoring a lot easier from the second quarter onwards.”

“Jordy was probably the best for us but Travis Manne (ruck), Darcy Hargrave off half-back and Will Voornham on the wing were also huge,” coach Hoskin said.

“It was just an all-round team effort with players in each position all contributing.”

Fish Creek now get a week off as they await their next opponent, the loser of this week’s Foster and Stony Creek game.

“It doesn’t really matter who we face, we’ll just be playing our game and making sure we bring our best,” coach Hoskin said. “The break is going to be a big help; it’s just about rest and recovery and then putting our all into our next game.”

South Gippsland Sentinel Times and The Great Southern Star

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Match review contains excerpts from articles published by The Great Southern Star and written by Jason Harding reporting for South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original articles in full online subscribe to TGSS here and SGST here.

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