By Jason Barbin
One grand finalist has been decided after the Southern Football Netball League Division 2 Semi Finals at Doveton’s Power Reserve, while the highlight of the weekend may have been the arguable upset win on Sunday.
SECOND SEMI FINAL
Chelsea Heights 12.8 (80) def Keysborough 8.10 (58)
Chelsea Heights will have the chance to be promoted back to Division 1 after coming up big in the second Semi Final against Keysborough, with the 22-point win earning them a berth in the final game of the year.
A second quarter flurry, where the Heighters booted four goals to one, was the breakaway they needed, and they were able to convert their efforts into a win during the second half.
Phil Smith and James Robertson were dangerous inside 50, combining for seven goals while midfielder Jarryd Uren was best afield alongside Tyler Cantwell and Michael Danckert.
Both sides came out firing during the first quarter, but nerves may have played a part as neither side was able to create much impact on the scoreboard, booting 1.3 each by quarter time.
After Keysborough opened the second term with a goal, the nerves settled for Chelsea Heights and the result was four straight unanswered goals, with Smith booting two, which resulted in a 16-point half time buffer.
The Burra responded with three goals during the third stanza, but the Heighters seemed to have their measure, registering four goals to increase the lead to 22 by the final change.
The minor premiers put the game out of reach late into the last, kicking three of the first four goals to lead by 37, before Keysborough finished with two consolation goals to go down by 22 points.
Cory Hargreaves was far and away Keysborough’s most influential player, finishing with four goals, while Riet Pal and Troy Cullen were also among the best.
FIRST SEMI FINAL
Murrumbeena 13.4 (82) def Caulfield 11.9 (75)
Murrumbeena has perfected a second half comeback to stun Caulfield in the First Semi Final, sending the Bears home packing in straight sets.
In what looks like an upset win, though recent form may say otherwise, the Beena trailed by 17 points at half time, before piling on eight goals to three to win by seven.
Alaster Bradley was the star with five goals, four of them coming in the second half, willing his side over the line in a best afield performance alongside big man James Shirley and Eduardo Espinosa.
Murrumbeena engineered the perfect start to the game, booting the first three goals, before Caulfield stole some momentum back with the next two, cutting the lead to four points at quarter time.
The Bears capitalised on their momentum in the second, opening the term with four unanswered majors, finishing the term with six to just two in reply, resulting in a 17-point half time advantage.
Refusing to go down without a fight, Murrumbeena hit back in the third term, kicking two of the first three goals before Bradley’s second help cut the lead to six at the final change.
Bradley picked up where he left off in the last, kicking two goals to put the Beena back in front before Tom Stait levelled the scores for Caulfield.
Shirley then put Murrumbeena back in front before another two goals for Murrumbeena, including Bradley’s fifth gave it an 18-point lead late in the contest.
Caulfield received some hope when Josh Hughes majored, but it was unable to engineer a comeback, eventually falling by seven points.
Stait finished as the leading goal kicker for the Bears with three majors, while Alex Cables and youngster Chris Ryall were named their best.