Hope Valley have a chance of back-to-back after being the first through to the grand final. But will they play the previously undefeated Pembroke Old Scholars or Walkerville?
By Liam Wormald
Mitcham v Walkerville
Walkerville have progressed to the preliminary-final after defeating Mitcham by 30-points in the second semi-final at Thomas Farms Oval. The win sees the Cats keep their premiership aspirations alive, while the Hawks impressive season comes to an end. From the outset the Cats looked determined to win, with a strong first quarter, in which they kicked six goals and only one behind. In the second term the Cats remained in-control of the game, with a 40-point lead at half-time over the Hawks who were struggling to score goals. When play resumed in the third quarter, goalkicking inaccuracy prevented the Cats from significantly increasing their lead, with the last quarter seeing them being held goalless due to impressive efforts from the Hawks defence. Cat’s livewire Benjamin Walter was a key-target up forward, with three majors, while Ryan Madden and Scott Kenny booted a couple goals each. For the Hawks, Maxwell Smyth provided a great contest up forward, with two majors, while Harrison Pride and James Daly were solid with a goal each. Tim Woolford and Che Lange used their running ability to great effect for the Cats, while Bailey Cantlon and Stewart Lawson won their positions. The Cats will be aiming to hand the Kings their second straight defeat in the preliminary-final, while the Hawks will gain confidence from their positive season when they hit pre-season training.
Pembroke-OS v Hope Valley
Hope Valley have dealt Pembroke OS their first defeat of the season, after winning by 24-points in the first semi-final at Haslam Oval. The Demons have now consolidated a grand final position, while the Kings will have to face Walkerville in a preliminary-final. In the first term the Kings showed why they were the minor premiers with impressive passages of play seeing them lead by 20-points at the first break. The Demons were able to respond in the second quarter, with four goals for the quarter and tough defensive play giving them a four-point lead at half-time. The game remained a contest in the third term, with the Kings leading by four-points heading into an intriguing last quarter. The Demons hunger for a grand final position was evident in the fourth quarter, with five goals for the term seeing them claim a memorable victory. Demon’s leader Matthew Min showed his poise in big moments, with five majors, while Jayke Hellmanns proved a handful for the Kings defence, with three goals. Alex Forster was a clear standout up forward for the Kings, with six majors. Jamie Dowling and Eddy O’Connor were active all game for the Demons, while Charles Canny and Tom Forster refused to drop their intensity for the Kings. The Demons will enjoy a week off before facing either Walkerville or Pembroke-OS in the grand final, with the Kings set to be determined to bounce-back from their disappointing defeat.
Pembroke-OS v Walkerville
In an enticing-encounter Pembroke OS will face Walkerville at Haslam Oval in the preliminary-final on Saturday. If the Kings are to win, they will need a greater number of scoring options, with Alex Forster being heavily relied upon to kick their goals. The Cats will be hoping for a consistent four-quarter effort, with the Hawks stopping their scoring flow in the last quarter of the second semi-final. Last time these teams met in round four the Kings hung on by one-point, with this game set to go down to the wire again. The determination of the Kings at their home ground to avoid getting eliminated in straight sets should see them secure a place in the grand final.
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