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Resilience is a key trait in a grand final side, and Stony Creek showed they have it in bunches in their preliminary final win over Fish Creek on Saturday. Not only did the Maroons bounce back from their loss to Foster a week prior, but they also overcame a 32-7 quarter-time deficit to win 82-47 and book a spot in this week’s grand final. Coach Scott Anderson was thrilled with his team’s achievement.

“It’s very exciting for us to be in the big one,” he said.

“The boys really wanted it and you could see it in the way we hunted.”

Fish Creek got the jump early, Buckland taking control up front and Manne dominating on the ball.

Stony Creek then began to exert strong pressure after the first break though, getting back into the game with strong tackling and efficient usage.

The Nolans and Kael Bergles caused problems in the forward line and by three-quarter time the Maroons were up by 15 points. “We spoke at half-time about our pressure,” coach Anderson said.

“We knew we had to tackle, tackle and tackle to get it back on our terms and I was happy we managed to do that, especially in the third and fourth quarters.”

This paid dividends as the side took complete control in the final two terms. While Fish Creek managed to control some of the play at the start of the final quarter, the play of Scapin and Spencer in the ruck and 2019 Best and Fairest winner Darcy Atkins in the middle was too strong.

With fluid play inside and on the outside, the Maroons cruised to an impressive 35-point win. “Scapin and Spencer in the ruck outworked Manne and controlled the game,” coach Anderson said.

“Darcy was huge too, he had about 20 tackles and he hurts them when he hits. He’s a physical beast.”

The win sets up a huge matchup in the grand final this week, with the Maroons set to take on top spot Foster in a semi final rematch, a game coach Anderson is excited for. “We’ve got some momentum now and we’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We just have to recover during the week and see what we can do.”

Daniel Renfrey - The Great Southern Star

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Match review written by Daniel Renfrey and published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full online subscribe to TGSS here.

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