File size must be less than 2Mb
You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image
File types (jpg, png, gif)
07 August 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
A ruthless Harrow-Balmoral served notice there will be no letting up before Horsham District football finals with a 312-point demolition of Laharum at the weekend.
The Demons have been in freefall since winning two of their first three matches, losing 11 in a row including Saturday’s 51.19 (325) to 2.1 (13) capitulation to sit above only Pimpinio on the ladder.
Harrow-Balmoral coach Nick Pekin last week said the Roos had begun their finals campaign ‘two weeks ago’ starting with a key match against Edenhope-Apsley.
Article continues below
The reigning premiers showed finals-like intensity despite the low stature of their opponents at the weekend, attacking relentlessly until the final siren.
More than two thirds of the team got their names on the score sheet, with Will Plush and Cody Deutscher kicking seven goals each in outstanding individual displays.
Simon Close led the goal kicking with nine majors while Pekin himself kicked four rotating between the midfield and forward line.
Young Demon Reuben Launder was named his side’s best, supported by some of the team’s more experienced players including Brett Ervin and Gerard Matthews.
Tom Crawford continued to give his all as he has done since being thrown into the head coaching role halfway through the season, kicking one of the team’s two goals with Josh Haby supplying the other.
While it was a dirty day for Laharum, fellow league cellar dwellers Pimpinio and Taylors Lake showcased their improvement this season with competitive showings against Natimuk United and Jeparit-Rainbow respectively.
The Tigers trailed the Rams by 15 at the first break but fought hard to be within a goal at half time, eventually losing 11.11 (77) to 7.8 (50) against a finals-bound opponent.
The Rams, led by Sam Anson, Callum Cameron and Mitch Riddell, remain in the hunt for a top three finish if one of either Edenhope-Apsley or Swifts slip up during the final two rounds.
They will play what suddenly looms as a tough game against Taylors Lake this week. The Lakers showed they can no longer be considered easy beats despite a 14.16 (100) to 9.9 (63) loss to the Storm.
Behind the run of Trae Martin and strong performances from Andrew Phelan, Jake Hinton and Matt McCulloch, the Lakers won the first quarter by five points and the last by 10.
The only problem was that the team stalled in the middle two quarters, failing to kick a goal in either as Jeparit-Rainbow regained control of the match. The Storm’s Simon Clugston was superb, with Peter Weir booting eight goals up forward to retake the lead in the league goal-kicking tally.
Rupanyup also belied its eighth-place rung on the ladder to seriously challenge second-placed Edenhope-Apsley, trailing by just a point on its home ground before eventually losing 15.14 (104) to 13.10 (88). It was arguably the best performance of the season from the Panthers, who benefitted from yet another starring performance from midfielder Elliot Kelly.
The Panthers’ forward line also clicked, with Darby Harrison, four goals, and Zach Robinson, three, keeping the team in the hunt and Daniel Schaper in everything.
The Saints were slow to get going but rode strong games from Billy Finnigan, Ryan Gray and six-goal forward Carl Slape to the win.
Edenhope-Apsley will have a round 17 bye, while the Panthers will travel to Cameron Oval to face Laharum with an excellent chance to earn another win.
Jeparit-Rainbow will host Kalkee in a game with plenty on the line as both clubs vie for one of the last remaining finals spots.
Natimuk United is at home to Taylors Lake, Noradjuha-Quantong likewise against Pimpinio and Harrow-Balmoral will travel to Stawell’s North Park to face Swifts.
The entire August 7, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!