Port Lincoln football
Wayback 6-10 (46) def Marble Range 4-8 (32)
WAYBACK won its first premiership in nine years, defeating Marble Range by 14-points in blustery grand final conditions on Saturday.
There was a lot of interest in this match as the two teams made their way into the final following close wins against the team that was the premiership favourite, Mallee Park.
Rangers were missing ruckman Kale Olds with injury so Jacob Watson ably stood up alongside Brock Laube against the combination of Matt Hayman and Taner Schlink.
Play was even throughout the first half with Wayback leading by two points and one point respectively at the first two breaks.
Each team’s coach stood up with Wayback’s Matthew Goodwin moving the ball forward at any opportunity as he was in and under among the contests.
Rangers’ Reece Francis also stood up as he ran the ball back into the midfield.
Wayback’s defence really stood out on this day, with Dean Miller and Ian Jericho in particular preventing several scoring opportunities with intercepting marks and defensive pressure.
For Rangers Laube stood out when he dropped back to a defensive role while Todd Owen proved elusive in the midfield and Wade Hansen pursued the contested footy.
The second half saw the wind pick up which would favour whoever was kicking towards Park Terrace.
Wayback utilised this to set up inside 50s and had numbers around contests to set up passages to the forward line.
Goodwin and the Maxfields set up shots on goal as Wayback put through three for the quarter to lead by 21-points at the final break.
Rain at the start of the final quarter created another obstacle as players tried to keep their hands on the ball.
Play became scrambly and conjested as Rangers tried to move the ball forward and Wayback kept numbers around the contests.
Despite having the breeze Marble Range managed one goal for the final quarter as Wayback’s defensive pressure proved too strong.
Miller continued to shine in the Demons’ defence while Adam Waters had a sensational second half picking up plenty of possession and running the ball through the centre.
It was not a pretty sight but Wayback did enough to stop Marble Range’s momentum and run out 14-point winners and premiers for 2017.
In the scrappy conditions there was only one multiple goal scorer with two goals by Wayback’s Josh McKenzie.
For his leadership and attacking pressure, Goodwin received the Michael Hegarty Medal for best on ground.
A fitting prize for the man who captained Wayback’s last premiership in 2008 and has now coached them to their most recent flag.
A great end to what has been a great season for Wayback.
Pictured are (back): Brett Hegarty, Zac Mullins, Jayden Whittle, Murray Kelsh, Craig Reidy, Matthew Goodwin, Simon Hunt, Jason Perkins, Seth Meyers with Oliver, Taner Schlink, Ben Sampson, Matthew Tromp, Ian Jericho, Matthew Hayman, Josh McKenzie, Dene Rodd, Lee Rodd, Tyson Arthur, Lee-Anne Smith, Lou Rawson; front: David McFarlane, Zierra Keatley, Matthew Keatley, Jonty Seal, James Flint, Toby Rawson, Michael Hegarty, Adam Waters, Rory Hunt (front), James Blewit, Shaun Maxfield and Greg Maxfield.