From the opening ruck contest of the grand final rematch, it was the Demons who roared into action first. Jason Wells slotted Kooweerup’s first goal against the Island since the semi-final at Cora Lynn last year.
The nightmare of their goalless grand final was still fresh in the mind of every fan in attendance on Saturday, but Kooweerup seemed to have exorcised those Demons.
The Island had eight scoring shots in the first term, but entered the first break trailing 2.6 to 5.0.
It was a sloppy opening few minutes from the home side, and some strong pressure from the visitors, that proved telling.
Koo Wee Rup coach Ben Collins emphasised the importance of his players keeping their pressure acts up throughout the remainder of the contest – for the Demons to keep the heat on the Bulldogs on a warm Easter Saturday. But it wasn’t to last. Starting with six goals to one in the second quarter, the Island took the momentum and ran with it. Literally.
Stand-in skipper Jaymie Youle’s work rate and hardness at the contest was obvious to the near 6000-strong crowd, but so too was the impact of the likes of Jack Taylor (particularly up forward), Cam Pedersen, Al Duyker and Jason Tomada.
Two goals in the space of less than a minute – first to Billy Taylor, and then to Henry Shawcross – set the tone early for the home side as the Bulldogs gained the ascendency in general play.
A snap goal to Pedersen off a step from about 45 out just oozed class as he looked in particularly ominous touch.
Mitch Collins impressed in the ruck early, but twinged his knee – adding to the growing list of injury concerns for the luckless, depleted Demons.
From there, Pedersen was brilliant whether in the middle – at times even securing the clearance from his own ruck work – or down forward.
It’s not his height that proves the biggest obstacle for opposition sides. It’s his athleticism, his strength, and his ability to take strong contested grabs time and time again.
The Island converted a 21-point advantage at the main break into 39 at three-quarter time.
From there, the dam wall burst as the Bulldogs opened the floodgates with eight unanswered final quarter goals to win by a whopping 89 points, 19.21 (135) to 7.4 (46).
Since Koo Wee Rup had 6.0 on the board halfway through the second, the Island conceded just one more goal.
Inverloch-Kongwak met Dalyston in an Easter Saturday clash that drew in the largest Easter crowd on record.
In perfect conditions, both teams were looking to give footy fans a show but the result was a disappointing defeat for Dalyston. Prior to the first bounce, an Anzac Day tribute was made with the Last Post played by Eric Cross.
It was to be an exciting match for Inverloch-Kongwak, with Andy Soumilas and Campbell McKenzie back in the line up for their first game of the season. Once the game was underway, the Sea Eagles flew out of the gate to leave the Magpies well and truly shell shocked.
Inverloch-Kongwak recorded six goals in the first term with Sam Gibbins leading the charge in the forward line. Dalyston was beaten up by the bigger bodied Inverloch-Kongwak outfit. The Sea Eagles demonstrated more strength and more enthusiasm, which showed on the scoreboard. However, the second quarter proved to be more of a challenge. Dalyston adjusted to Inverloch-Kongwak’s competitive drive and applied more pressure in the backline. Dean Wylie led the way for Dalyston across half back flank, exhibiting exceptional mental toughness in the face of adversity and was a rock in the defence. Ryan Silver had his hands full but played another consistent match for Dalyston in centre half back. Inverloch-Kongwak’s forwards struggled with accuracy and were not hitting all of its targets.
Despite Dalyston’s efforts, Inverloch-Kongwak continued to play a classier style of footy across the ground and would not allow the Magpies to convert. The Sea Eagles maintained a fierce backline for the entirety of the match through Jarvis Pryor and Rowan Clark. The third quarter saw Inverloch-Kongwak break away again to really run over Dalyston. However, for all Inverloch-Kongwak’s efforts, it was unable to capitalise in the final quarter, resulting in 23 behinds in total. Regardless, the hard work had been done and Inverloch-Kongwak ran away with an exceptional 82 point victory.
Inverloch-Kongwak onballer Tristan Van Driel was named man of the match and received the Anzac Day medal, presented by the Inverloch RSL.The Great Southern Star
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Phillip Island v Koo Wee Rup match review written by Russell Bennett reporting for Pakenham Gazette. To view original article in full online subscribe to PG here.
Inverloch-Kongwak v Dalyston match review published by The Great Southern Star. To view original article in full online subscribe to TGSS here.