PORT LINCOLN FOOTBALL
A GRADE GRAND FINAL
Marble Range 5.13 (43) def Wayback 5.10 (40)
A 14-year drought has finally ended as Marble Range defeated Wayback by three points in a nail-biting grand final at Centenary Oval on Saturday, which saw them trail at every break .
Play was back and forth early as Wayback applied the pressure early, looking for a better start after losing the semi final to Rangers by 34 points a fortnight ago.
Wayback had the slight edge as they cut off Ranger options and forced them to kick to contests, with numbers to move the contested ball away using the breeze blowing to the Park Terrace end.
Two first quarter goals set up Wayback well but Rangers managed one through coach Boyd West as Wayback led by one straight kick at quarter time.
Using the breeze Rangers had the momentum early in the second quarter, however opportunities went begging as a wasteful quarter saw them kick five behinds as Wayback continued to apply pressure on contests and forced errors with disposals.
Rangers' movement into the forward 50 was hampered by a strong Wayback defence, led by Ian Jericho and Ben Sampson who kept the ball out of the hands of Rangers' forwards.
Wayback were better with their ball movement, Xavier Watson and Shaun Maxfield stepped up as they normally do while Greg Maxfield found space to provide a target and set up inside 50s.
The last six scoring shots were all Wayback and they were more successful in front of goal, kicking two goals to have a handy 17-point lead at half time.
The strong first half came at a price for Wayback, Jamayah Craig was dazed after hitting the ground hard in a marking contest in the first quarter while Beau Sampson injured his hamstring in the second.
Rangers needed to use quick ball movements and leading the way here was Mail Medallist Jordan Clements, who went after every centre clearance he could with help from the ruck work of Jed Woolford.
Wayback was kept at bay with good defensive pressure with Kory Beard and Ned Brooks in particular stepping up their defensive efforts, while Lance Appleby, Billy Byass and Max Black helped drive Rangers to their 50 with their run and disposals.
Some Wayback opportunities were missed early but Rangers got back in it with a goal from Minney, only for Jonty Seal to kick his second goal shortly after to keep Wayback's lead firm.
Another Ranger goal from Dannen Blacker gave Rangers some hope as passages were affected by contested footy and a reasonable breeze. The margin was 13 points at the final break and an exciting finish looked to be in the making
With one quarter left Rangers got their run and carry going as they worked overtime to provide options through the middle, despite Wayback forcing contests on the back 50 with Sam Heinjus in particular using his size to spoil potential inside 50s.
Jeb Casanova got the the chase off to a good start with an early goal as Rangers continued to pepper the 50 off some fast paced footy and getting the turnovers as Wayback cleared the ball from danger several times as Rangers just needed that elusive goal to finally get in front.
With play being heavily contested free kicks were piling up, and a telling one in the centre led to another Marble Range inside 50 and soon in the hand of Tynan Keeley, who had been kept goalless all day, Rangers were soon in front and with minutes to go, the shoe was on the other foot.
Wayback made a ditch effort to get the goal and gain back the lead, but Rangers would hold on and after the siren sounded the pitch became a sea of black and white as Marble Range celebrated the end of a 14-year premiership drought.
For his stellar use of the ball around the centre, his clearances and drive to continue Rangers' push for the 50, Clements was awarded the Mick Hegarty Medal for best on ground.
Other standouts for Rangers were Woolford for his work in ruck, Brooks and Beard in repelling Wayback's attack while Appleby, Byass and Black were other stand outs.
For Wayback Heinjus had a stellar game in ruck and providing his height in offensive and defensive contests, Jericho and Ben Sampson were the pillars of the Wayback defence, Watson and S. Maxfield lifted as they always do through the midfield while G. Maxfield created space and contributed to inside 50s.
RESERVES GRAND FINAL
Wayback 10.5 (65) def Lincoln South 6.7 (43)
Wayback have won their first reserves premiership since 2014 after defeating minor premiers Lincoln South by 22 points in the grand final.
From the start the Demons got on top of Souths in winning the contested ball, applying defensive pressure and quick disposals from stoppages to progress to the 50.
Despite some good resistance through defensive efforts with Nick Wright and Damon Traeger among those repelling Wayback inside 50s, the Demons pressed the attack and forced Souths to play defensively.
Rory Hunt was great early with his pursuit of the ball, kicking two of Wayback's three first quarter goals.
A more even second quarter saw Souths get back into it, Cohen Dinnison stood up with his centre clearances while Matt Traeger kicked two goals but Wayback still had the edge with their contested play, with Simon Hunt's drive off the back half and Patrick Andison shutting out leading goal kicker Filippo Fiore among highlights.
Two more Wayback goals gave them a 15-point lead at half time.
Wayback built their win off a solid third quarter which saw them be accountable and capitalise on Souths' errors with the Eagles, with the breeze against them, struggling to get out of the back half. Three goals to one saw Wayback build up their lead to 27 points at three quarter time.
Play was hotly contested in the final quarter as Souths did all they good to use their leg speed to get up the ground and overcome the contested footy of Wayback, but early goals from Kyan Watherston and S. Hunt dampened their effort.
They continued to push for opportunities in front of goal and booted three, but it was not enough as Wayback's four quarter effort saw them take the win and the reserves premiership.
Rory Hunt with his possessions, clearances from packs and two goals saw him win the Jack Johncock Medal for best on ground. Other Wayback standouts were Watherston for his three goals, while Harris, S. Hunt and Rodd helped drive the attack from the back half while Tim Manning, Brett Woolford and James Flint were other standouts.
For Souths Dinnison stood out with his work in the centre to win clearances, Jacob Harvey went after the contested marks and set up inside 50s, M. Traeger and Kaleb Hope top scored with two goals each while Zac Kenny, Greg Rowley and Jayden Blewit were possession winners in the midfield.
UNDER 17 GRAND FINAL
Marble Range 13.9 (87) def Boston 1.7 (13)
Marble Range showed why they were the team to beat in 2021 with a dominant performance against Boston in the under 17 grand final.
Throughout the day the Rangers showed the depth of its playing list as they were more effective with disposals and created opportunities in front of goal.
With four goals in each of the first two quarters, Boston were limited to two behinds for the whole half as they struggled against the Rangers who capitalised on turnovers and set up space to provide options.
The pair of Latrell Sumner and Ashur Miller-Pickett were dangerous in front of goal with Sumner also being explosive around the ball, while in the middle Ethan Richards found plenty of the footy and fed well to his teammates and Eli Giddings utilised the wing to take uncontested marks and get his run going.
Rangers continued to dominate in the third quarter, especially in the key areas of uncontested and contested marks as well as turnovers as the Tigers, despite some good defensive pressure themselves, could not make a dent in the scoreline.
Marble Range added four more goals in the third while Boston's first goal from Bodhi Fauser got fans cheering.
The final quarter was a low scoring one as Rangers added one more goal while Boston were kept to two behinds, but a strong four quarter effort saw Marble Range claim a well deserved under 17 premiership.
Best for Rangers were Richards who received the Kevin Ayliffe Medal as best on ground, along with Sumner and Miller-Pickett with four goals each, Giddings and Jay Mullins shined in the midfield while Tate Bieniasz was a stand out in defence and Cooper Miller's attack of the ball and tackling pressure was a highlight.
For Boston Fauser was everywhere going after the ball and kicked the Tigers' sole goal, Kyle Turner found plenty of the ball and provided run, Cody Selwyn-Shore drove the attack out of the back half and Lochie Ward took on opponents to drive Boston towards the 50.
UNDER 15 GRAND FINAL
Boston 5.6 (36) def Marble Range 4.2 (26)
In a hotly contested under 15 grand final, Boston got over the line against Marble Range by 10 points.
Boston made first use of the wind in the first quarter by keeping the Rangers scoreless due to some individual efforts, the first by Toby Rawles with a great run down the grandstand side and got the ball to Brad Jacob who goaled and then Issac Morton had two great smothers to halt a Rangers attack.
The second quarter saw the Rangers score 2.1 and keep the Tigers scoreless due to Dylan Morgan, Nash Reidy and Cooper Puckridge lifting their work rate.
The third quarter once again proved to be the premiership quarter as the Tigers piled on three goals to one and gain a break, and proved too big a margin to overcome.
Even though Rangers kept Boston goalless in the last quarter they could not score enough themselves which saw the Tigers run out winners for a well deserved win for the team and club.
Best for Boston were Aidan Knight followed by Brad Jacob, Jack Meffert, Toby Rawles and Issac Morton.
Marble Range were best served by Nash Reidy, Cooper Puckridge, Dylan Morgan, Mitchell Pearce and Majoor Ackland.
UNDER 13 GRAND FINAL
Marble Range 7.5 (47) def Mallee Park 2.1 (13)
It was not until after half time that Marble Range shook off a determined Mallee Park side to win the under 13 grand final.
The first quarter saw the Rangers goal withing 30 seconds through Mitchell de Ron and when Tyler Caulfield and Lucas Gray each goaled the Rangers had a two-goal lead.
The second quarter saw both sides score a goal each and if it had not been for Kobe Young in defence for Peckers the Rangers could have had a bigger lead at half time.
The last half of the match saw the Rangers dominate as they had too many better players around the ground and have a comfortable win by five goals.
Best for Rangers was Harvey Pearce, Hudson Mellor in defence, Nate Payze, Caulfield and Oliver Wilkins up forward while for the Peckers Zackariah Young tried his heart out, K. Young in defence, Kwarnell Sumner and Toban Miller-Warren up forward and Blake Wells and Terence Betts next.
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