FINAL WEEK 1 REVIEW
SECOND SEMI FINAL
Carrum Patterson Lakes 5.9 (39) def by Lyndhurst 9.10 (64)
Lyndhurst has made a big statement to kick off the finals series, running over the top of Carrum Patterson Lakes by 25 points to book their place in the Grand Final.
A scrappy and low scoring tussle was the expectation heading into the match and those thoughts were confirmed early on in the piece with plenty of tough footy on display. Contested ball was unsurprisingly a feature in such a cut throat contest as both sides battled to move the ball freely.
Having entered the match as slight favourites, the Lions started brightly to boot the only two goals in the opening term.
Although the Lightning didn’t manage to register a major, they still had their fair share of the play with only wasteful inaccuracy seeing them trail at the short break.
A quick drink and pep talk sparked them back into action after the resumption of play, Lyndhurst dominating proceedings to lock the ball in their forward half.
However despite their supremacy in the contest inaccuracy once again marred their efforts, converting just the three goals from eight attempts.
Nevertheless, the Lightning would have been pleased with their efforts as they headed into the half time rooms with a two goal lead.
With only two majors in as many quarters, CPL found themselves in unfamiliar territory with a real scrap on their hands. Playing against a defensive side in the pressure cooker of finals, the Lions were struggling to move the ball with their usual attacking flair.
And Lyndhurst tightened their grip on the contest even further in the third quarter, booting four goals to two to gain complete control. Everything was starting to click for the men in orange as they finally took their chances in front of goal to put one foot into the Grand Final.
However against a side like CPL, 23 points clear with one quarter to go was by no means safe yet. And the Lions had plenty of fight left as they launched a final quarter onslaught, creating numerous chances in their attacking end.
But this time it was CPL who fluffed their opportunities in front of goal, kicking a costly 1.4 to effectively end any chance of a come from behind victory.
The win is a huge result for Lyndhurst as they now have a week’s rest before they prepare for the big dance.
Hamish Browning was simply unstoppable, sinking the Lions with six majors in a colossal performance. He was well supported by David Ford who also slotted three of his own.
Jesse Walia was once again in the thick of things around the footy and was an integral part of the victory.
For the Lions the double chance means their season is still alive, although it does make things slightly trickier. They never really got the game on their terms and will be determined to put in a better showing next weekend, otherwise they risk going out in straight sets.
Aaron Guy did his best to lift his team, as did Matthew Ryan but ultimately their efforts went in vain.
FIRST SEMI FINAL
Cerberus 11.9 (75) def Frankston Dolphins 6.11 (47)
Cerberus have taken their winning form into the finals, shrugging off a dogged Frankston side by 28 points to progress to the Preliminary Final.
Having won their past nine games in a row, the Dogs entered the clash with plenty of confidence but it was the Dolphins who looked sharper early on.
Frankston controlled the play for the majority of the opening term but as we have seen so often this season, their inaccuracy plagued them in front of goal. A return of 2.5 was not disastrous but it could have been so much better.
Cerberus made them pay in the second quarter as they fought back strongly to shift the momentum back their way. Three quick goals to start the term saw the Dogs capture the lead before the Dolphins were able to respond to stem the bleeding.
The game perfectly poised at half time with only seven points separating the two sides.
The intensity went up another notch in the premiership quarter, with both sides’ desperation and hunger for success on full display. A contested and low scoring arm wrestle eventuated, with the Dogs inching their way to an 11 point lead with a mammoth final 20 minutes to play.
But the game fizzled out to an anti-climactic finish as the Dogs ran all over the Dolphins, sinking four goals to one to run out comfortable winners.
Perhaps the extra week off allowed the Dogs to find an extra gear, but they looked the fitter and stronger side in the final term.
It was a solid team performance by the men from the Navy Base, with seven players hitting the scoreboard. Jimmy Miller once again found the big sticks slotting three majors, while Zach Godden booted two himself to go with plenty of footy.
Now with 10 wins in a row, the Dogs are a dangerous side to cross paths with and their clash against CPL should hold no fears.
For the Dolphins whilst the sun sets on 2018, overall their debut season has been a massive tick with plenty of positives to draw upon. They simply ran out of legs in the final stanza but they have laid the foundations for a successful future and will be better for the experience next season.
Up forward the Josh’s put in a good effort, with Dart and Kerrigan snagging two each. Jayden Dart was superb all game as was Brendan Murphy but ultimately the team had nothing left in the tank.