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Thread: Sydney AFL Finals Week 2 2013

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    Sydney AFL Finals Week 2 2013

    Article and Semi-Finals photos by Michael Shillito
    Grand Final photos thanks to

    When Manly were promoted to Premier Division in 2013, not even the wildest dreams of the staunchest Manly optimist could have imagined how successful they would be. But from a thumping win in the opening round, the Wolves quickly established a place among the elite of the competition. And by the end of the home-and-away season, they had found themselves on top of the ladder.
    But finals time throws up a new challenge, and the Wolves had the advantage of having the first week off and going straight into the second semi. And so they made their way to Blacktown on Saturday evening, playing off against St George for a spot in the Grand Final.
    The Wolves and the Dragons had played a thrilling draw a couple of weeks before the finals, and another close game was in prospect this time. The game was a scrap early, but the Wolves got on top late in the first term, three late goals opening up a 19-point advantage.
    As the second term started, St George burst away and before long the game was back on level terms. Alex Wynn was looking dangerous up forward, while Jason Saddington stood tall and provided a focal point for the Dragon attacking raids. The Dragons looked to have the run of play, but the Wolves steadied to stop the Dragon momentum. Nathan Bosschieter stood up to score a double late in the quarter, and with a few missed shots in the dying seconds of the quarter, the Wolves had withstood the St George onslaught to lead by 15 points at the long break.
    The third term followed a similar trend to the second. With the first three goals of the quarter, the Dragons took the lead. St George were out-running and out-tackling the Wolves; and the minor premiers were under pressure as the Dragons had lifted around the ground. And after a warm day, where the mercury had briefly hit 30 earlier in the day, the temperature had dropped sharply; and a southerly wind started to blow, favouring the railway end to which the Dragons would be kicking in the last quarter.
    But as happened in the second quarter, the Wolves regrouped. With the clock in time-on, critical goals to Lachlan Kilpatrick and Thomas Thurgarland restored the Manly lead and ensured they would take a nine-point lead into the last change.
    The Wolves had the lead, but the job was far from done. They?d twice regained the lead after the Dragons had threatened to over-run them. The Dragons had raced out of the blocks in the second and third terms; but were unable to do it in the last quarter.
    Defending grimly, stopping the ball from even getting into the St George forward 50, the Wolves ensured there would be no way back into the contest for the Dragons. The clock continued to tick, as the ball found itself in a series of ball-ups and boundary throw-ins; but scoring chances were rare. And the longer the time had passed, the more the Manly confidence grew.
    A Manly goal would be the knock-out blow, but with some missed chances it took some time in coming. But co-captain Tyrone Armitage finally broke the deadlock, triggering celebrations among the Manly faithful as he guided the ball through the big sticks. Nick Ryan immediately replied for the Dragons, but time had run out and victory for Manly was assured.
    And so in their first season, the Wolves had pulled off a result they could never have imagined. Their first season in the top flight had produced a minor premiership, and now a place on Sydney footy?s biggest stage as they will be in the Grand Final.
    David Stroud, Harrison Koch and Connor Pettersson had been best for the Wolves; playing key roles in getting them through the finals test and ensuring their place in the Grand Final.
    For St George, Blake Guthrie, Alex Sharp and Ben Sharp had made key contributions. But the Dragons will have to win next week to get a re-match with the Wolves in the Grand Final.

    And the Dragons? opponents in the Preliminary Final will be Pennant Hills. But it took a stirring comeback and a cliff-hanging finish for the Demons to overcome the resistance of a determined North Shore in Sunday?s First Semi-Final at Henson Park.
    The Demons went into the game as warm favourites, on the back of an impressive performance against UNSW-ES last week; while the Bombers had been jumped from the start by St George and had been decimated by injuries.
    But from the first bounce, it was clear the Bombers weren?t going to let themselves get off to a poor start again. Denying the Demons easy touches, they fought hard for every possession and it would take nearly 15 minutes for either side to get a goal. The Demons got three goals in quick time, but the Bombers fought back to snatch the lead as the quarter time siren sounded.
    The second quarter was an arm-wrestle, as two sides with their seasons on the line threw everything into the contest. It started physically, a mellee threatening to blow up in the early exchanges; but when it settled down, goals began to flow more freely. But neither side was able to build any consistent momentum. Frequent lead changes, fortunes fluctuating as both sides strove for supremacy but came out blank; with North Shore taking a two-point lead into the long break.
    In the third term, the Bombers looked to be taking the upper hand. The midfield, evenly matched in the first half, began to swing to the Bombers? advantage. A double to Jack Davis ensured the Bombers would remain in front throughout the quarter. When Brendan Fitzgerald picked up a loose ball after a free was awarded, ran around to score and advantage was paid, the Bombers had opened up a 14-point lead. At the other end, a sensational smother by Chris Murphy denied a certain Demon goal; and the Bombers would have had every reason to feel confident as they went into the three quarter time huddle.
    But Demon mentor Chris Yard had other ideas, and a stirring speech spurred his charges into action in the last quarter. Emerging full of running, the goals quickly flowed. A booming torp by Kieran Wright opened up, with Matt Carey adding another moments later. And when Ranga Ediriwickrama converted a set shot from 40 metres out, the Demons had taken the lead for the first time since the second quarter.
    The lead would be short-lived, as Sam Carruthers and Daniel Schacher restored an eight-point advantage to the Bombers. But with a centre break, and Brant Jack left unattended to mark and goal, there was only two points in it.
    The Demons continued to attack, but could only get two behinds; drawing the scores level as the clock ticked deeper into time-on. The grey clouds were closing in, the tension growing around the ground as the season for these two clubs was on the line.
    At the 24 minute mark, tall forward Luke Bilbe positioned himself perfectly, taking a strong pack mark 30 metres from home and guiding the ball through. A critical goal, and a six-point lead for the Demons.
    Time was running out, but the Bombers had one more roll of the dice. Running the ball out of the half-back line, Chris Murphy marked in the centre. Not much time remaining, so instead of going back, he played on but was tackled from behind. Holding the ball, and the chance was gone. The ball was chipped towards the boundary, the siren sounded.
    The Demons raised their arms, their mood not one of jubilation but of relief. Somehow they?d managed to snatch a victory that had looked out of reach for much of the afternoon. Nick Campbell, Luke Bilbe and Cameron Smith had been influential all day; playing key roles in getting the Demons across the line.
    But the Bombers slumped to the ground in despair. Under-manned, they had fought bravely all day; and could so easily have pulled off an amazing result, only to fall at the last hurdle. Doug Hadden, Ron Wason and John Gray had been their best.
    But it had been a shattering result for the Bombers; finishing fourth for the third season in a row, crashing out of the finals in straight sets for the second year in succession. A devastating result for the Bombers, who were inconsolable in the rooms after the game. Veteran defender Ryan Meldrum, after a 17-year career of several hundred games in Sydney footy for Balmain and North Shore, announced his retirement.

    And so Manly are through to the Grand Final. St George will play Pennant Hills next week for the other spot. And recent history favours the Demons. In the last ten years, only once has the team that lost the Second Semi bounced back to win the Preliminary Final.

    Premier Division:
    Second Semi-Final
    Manly-Warringah 4.4 7.8 10.12 11.19 (85)
    St George 1.3 5.5 9.7 10.7 (67)
    Goals : Manly ?
    L Kilpatrick 2, N Bosschieter 2, T Armitage 2, T Thurgarland 2, C Pettersson, R Wearne, R Hart. St George ? A Wynn 3, J Saddington 2, N Ryan, M Graham, P Sain, D Cox.
    Best : Manly ? D Stroud, H Koch, C Pettersson, W Brassil, T Thurgarland, R Wearne. St George ? B Guthrie, A Sharp, B Sharp, S Wilsen, M Graham, B Addison.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    First Semi-Final
    Pennant Hills 3.4 7.7 9.10 14.12 (96)
    North Shore 4.2 8.3 12.6 14.6 (90)
    Goals : Penannt Hills ?
    M Carey 3, L Bilbe 3, R Ediriwickrama 3, B Jack, S Widmer, A Richardson, K Wright, M Vile. North Shore ? D Schacher 4, J Davis 3, S Carruthers 2, L Hayres, B Sykes, J Shattock, J Gray, B Fitzgerald.
    Best : Penannt Hills ? N Campbell, L Bilbe, C Smith, J Dunn, S Widmer, P Barnes. North Shore ? D Hadden, R Wason, J Gray, S Carruthers, D Schacher, J Shattock.
    At Henson Park, Sunday 8th September 2013.

    Division One:
    Second Semi-Final
    Southern Power 0.1 5.3 9.11 10.15 (75)
    UTS 1.3 1.6 2.8 7.11 (53)
    Goals : Southern Power ?
    A Fritsch 4, D Turner 2, J Wilson 2, B Kenny, G Enright. UTS ? L Meyrick 2, P Breden, H McGregor, J Caica, N Haslam, J Davis.
    Best : Southern Power ? D Turner, M Findlay, S Brierty, D Wild, G Enright, A Cook. UTS ? L Meyrick, B Cantrall, J Hume, M Murrell, M Trewhella, H Whiting.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    First Semi-Final
    UNSW-ES 1.4 4.7 7.10 9.11 (65)
    Holroyd-Parramatta 2.6 2.9 3.14 5.17 (47)
    Goals : UNSW-ES ?
    T Luff 5, A McKenzie, N Angel, D Dowling, B Zieschang. Holroyd-Parramatta ? G Adams, S Williams, J Pridgeon, R Terrey, B Rogers.
    Best : UNSW-ES ? T Luff, F Rowe, T Falvey, C McKinlay, M Ensor, A Goodieson. Holroyd-Parramatta ? J Schwarze, S Maguire, M Cahill, L McLeod, R Terrey, B Mayne.
    At Henson Park, Sunday 8th September 2013.

    Division Two:
    Preliminary Final
    Sydney Uni 4.2 7.5 7.6 10.9 (69)
    Western Suburbs 1.3 3.3 7.5 8.5 (53)
    Goals : Sydney Uni ?
    R MacPherson 3, A Clark 2, J Melville, J Boyd, M Carey, S Power, D Risby. Wests ? M Eurell 4, J Lear, C Specha, A Eurell, P Gannon.
    Best : Sydney Uni ? A Clark, A Holmes, R MacPherson, B Foley, D Miller, S Lloyd. Wests ? M Tuttle, R Cott, M Eurell, J Lear, D Penfold, J Morgan.
    At Gipps Rd Oval, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    Division Three:
    Preliminary Final
    Randwick City 4.4 5.7 9.7 11.7 (73)
    NorWest 1.0 3.2 5.4 8.4 (52)
    Goals : Randwick City ?
    A Azhar 5, D Burke 3, M Hoffstein, R Gillespie, K Jones. NorWest ? P Kyle 5, K Clarke, P Webster, M Morgan.
    Best : Randwick City ? J Grant, K Jones, A Greet, B Oliver, M Garstin, J Scanlon. NorWest ? P Kyle, A Bayne, D Clinch, P Webster, K Clarke, A Lawes.
    At Gipps Rd Oval, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    Division Four:
    Preliminary Final
    Sydney Uni 3.1 7.1 10.3 13.4 (82)
    UTS 1.2 3.2 6.4 6.5 (41)
    Goals : Sydney Uni ?
    C Clarebrough 6, C Mohen 2, C McCauley 2, C McNeil 2, A Lyons. UTS ? T Richardson 2, N Cregg, A Christie, T Burnet, J Bocking.
    Best : Sydney Uni ? T Kirkham, C Clarebrough, P Hunter, M Hume, J Hunt, T Whitaker. UTS ? A Christie, T Richardson, D Beaton, J Whealans, L Williams, B Green.
    At Gipps Rd Oval, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    Under 18s One:
    Second Semi Final
    Pennant Hills 4.2 7.4 8.13 11.14 (80)
    UNSW-ES 0.2 5.4 5.7 5.10 (40)
    Goals : Pennant Hills ?
    D Preen 2, J Rene 2, B Thompson 2, J Barty 2, L De Vries, R Pinker, B Watson. UNSW-ES ? M Togher, L Towell, J Foote, A Davis, A Cupido.
    Best : Pennant Hills ? J Hare, N Hey, B Watson, L De Vries, J Barty, T Moraitis. UNSW-ES ? S Krochmal, L Towell, M Dickson, K Latham, J Erickson, T Roos.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    First Semi Final
    Illawarra 4.1 9.7 13.8 13.10 (88)
    St George 1.1 1.6 2.9 3.13 (31)
    Goals : Illawarra ?
    J Lees 2, C Kolster 2, K Anu, T Dobson, R Hamilton, B Yates, J Bottin-Noonan, C Wood, T Bishop, J David-Wright, S Potter. St George ? N Swanson, B Kilpatrick, M Peacock.
    Best : Illawarra ? J Bottin-Noonan, H Dobson, J David-Wright, R Hamilton, B Forst, C Panagakos. St George ? N McKenzie-Hicks, D Cooper, R Jones, W Murray, B Kilpatrick, J Guthrie.
    At Henson Park, Sunday 8th September 2013.

    Under 18s Two:
    Second Semi Final
    Manly 4.2 8.5 11.5 17.8 (110)
    Holroyd-Parramatta 0.1 2.5 4.5 5.7 (37)
    Goals : Manly ?
    J Parker 3, D McCaffrey 2, D Bruce 2, G Burke 2, L Behagg 2, B Pierce 2, B Ormonde, C Morgan, L Ivanovic, T Cameron. Holroyd-Parramatta ? C Wolfe 4, J Aubert.
    Best : Manly ? T McCaffrey, D Cantwell, A Wearne, M Bell, G Burke, B Ormonde. Holroyd-Parramatta ? A Rickett, A Roy, M Bleesing, J Stiles, J Hutt, J Strahan.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    Women Division One:
    Preliminary Final
    Balmain 1.1 2.1 4.1 5.2 (32)
    UNSW-ES 0.1 0.4 2.5 2.8 (20)
    Goals : Balmain ?
    Not supplied. UNSW-ES ? M Morriss, M Nguyen.
    Best : Balmain ? Not supplied. UNSW-ES ? C Gum, M Nguyen, E Mackay, N Vrachnas, J Still, L O?Brien.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Saturday 7th September 2013.

    The first of three Grand Final days was held at Blacktown on Sunday, with the Division Five and Women Division Two premierships being awarded.
    In Division Five, Randwick City completed a dominant season with a comfortable 43-point win over UTS. The first quarter was tightly contested, with the Bats scoring the only goal of the quarter. But the Saints took control of the game in the second quarter, a run of nine goals to one for the quarter being the decisive break for the game as the Saints opened up a 42-point lead at the long break.
    The Bats kept working hard, and won the third quarter, cutting the margin to 32 points at the last change. But the result of the game was never in doubt as the Saints were comfortably on the way to their first premiership as a senior club; in just their third season of existence.
    Nathan Pilgrim was awarded the best on ground medal; while Aryna-Danieal Pezeshki and Dimitri Garofoulis also made key contributions; Garofoulis being a focal point up forward to finish with five goals. For the Bats, Jimmy Levy, Tim O?Donovan and Thomas Hagglund worked hard all day.

    Division Five Grand Final
    Randwick City 0.3 9.4 11.7 13.8 (86)
    UTS 1.3 2.4 6.5 6.7 (43)
    Goals : Randwick City ?
    D Garofoulis 5, A Pezeshki 2, P Higginson, J King, B Prelec, L Mountney, B Mobbs, L Millichip. UTS ? C Leggett 2, J McCormack, B Limbrey, R Armstrong, T O?Donovan.
    Best : Randwick City ? N Pilgrim, A Pezeshki, D Garlfoulis, M Sadler, L Wilson, P Conduit. UTS ? J Levy, T O?Donovan, T Hagglund, C Leggett, T Newman, N McInerney.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Sunday 8th September 2013.

    The Women Division Two Grand Final saw Macquarie Uni complete an undefeated season in style, with a 28-point win over Southern Power.
    The Warriors? defence haven?t conceded many goals this season, and their watertight defence was too tight for the Power to penetrate in the first half. Although some missed shots set the Warriors back, they would hold the Power to a single point to half time, leading by 23 points at the long break.
    The Power broke through to score two goals in the third term, but the Warriors came up with the answering goals, ensuring there would be no way back into the contest. Two goals apiece for the quarter, the Warriors ahead by 24 points at the last change; and victory was all but assured. The sting had largely gone out of the contest in the last quarter, but the Warriors continued to attack to the end; raising the premiership cup in triumph.
    Amanda Farrugia was awarded the best on ground medal for the Warriors, while Rebecca Beeson and Steffanie Lee were also prominent around the ground. For the Power, Amy Kowski, Katherine Hull and Brittany Day were tireless workers.
    Such was Macquarie Uni?s dominance in this division, that Southern Power?s four-goal haul in the Grand Final was the only time all season that any team has scored three goals against the Warriors.

    Women Division Two Grand Final
    Macquarie Uni 2.3 3.6 5.7 7.11 (53)
    Southern Power 0.0 0.1 2.1 4.1 (25)
    Goals : Macquarie Uni ?
    A Farrugia 2, R Beeson 2, J Willemse, A Gray, S O?Loughlin. Southern Power ? J Miller, L Hodgson, A McClure, A Tegg.
    Best : Macquarie Uni ? A Farrugia, R Beeson, S Lee, B Muldoon, A Albury, S O?Loughlin. Southern Power ? A Kowski, K Hill, B Day, J Miller, D Goom, M Hibbert.
    At Blacktown International Sportspark, Sunday 8th September 2013.


    Premier Division:

    Sunday 15th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    Preliminary Final ? St George v Pennant Hills (3:15pm)

    Division One:
    Sunday 15th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    Preliminary Final ? UTS v UNSW-ES (1pm)

    Division Two:
    Saturday 14th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    GRAND FINAL ? Manly v Sydney Uni (3:30pm)

    Division Three:
    Saturday 14th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    GRAND FINAL ? Blacktown v Randwick City (11:05am)

    Division Four:
    Saturday 14th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    GRAND FINAL ? Pennant Hills v Sydney Uni (8:45am)

    Under 18s One:
    Sunday 15th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    Preliminary Final ? UNSW-ES v Illawarra (11am)

    Under 18s Two:
    Sunday 15th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    Preliminary Final ? Holroyd-Parramatta v Macquarie Uni (9am)

    Women Division One:
    Saturday 14th September ? Blacktown International Sportspark
    GRAND FINAL ? Sydney Uni v Balmain (1:10pm)
    Last edited by Norris Lurker; 9th September 2013 at 02:20 PM. Reason: correct image hotlinking code

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