Semi Final '18: Demons vs Wildcats (Men's Premiership)
Frank "Frank" Caldow | 03.08.18
Wandsworth Demons 6.7.43 def. by West London Wildcats 6.10.46
For the 3rd year in a row we matched up against West London in the Semi Final with the reward for the victors a place in the Grand Final and a week off. For the losers its a trip back out to Hackney Marshes to face a hungry Lions outfit.
Wests won the toss and with this kicked with the breeze which was blowing heavily towards their forward flank however only just favouring that end. Wests jumped us at the blocks, kicking 2 goals in the first 5 minutes to open up a match defining advantage. For the rest of the quarter we were the better team but went into the first break 3 goals to 2 down.
The second quarter was a real slog with both teams defences tightening right up and with the wind playing havoc there was minimal clean ball movement. We kicked the only goal of the quarter to go into the main break 1 point up.
The 3rd term was much the same, both teams continued to provide relentless defensive pressure on the ball carrier causing repeat stoppages. A couple of skill errors cost us on the turnover and at the final break it was a 4 goal to 3 game.
The last quarter played out in much the same vein and although we did have control of the momentum of the game couldn't edge back in front. In the dying minutes with the scores level we did have a couple of chances to score but without able to get the ball over the line the siren went and into extra time we went.
The message was simple. Keep applying pressure, win 50/50 balls and be clean going forward, from here it was the team who wanted it more that would take it home. Kicking with the slight breeze we did manage a clean take away and with Rousy going back and snagging it went into the half time of extra time 5 points up. It was short lived with Wests getting a crucial centre clearance and i50 mark and when their ROW forward went back and kicked it we were again down with very little time left. We unfortunately lost the next centre clearance and allowed them to kick another point and with 30 seconds left rolled the dice and moved the ball cleanly from end to end but the siren sounded before Jayden could run onto the ball inside our f50. Wests win by 2 points, the ultimate payback from the 2 point victory we had against them in the same game 12 months ago.
A really big challenge looms this week against a Lions outfit who will be significantly stronger than the other 2 times we have played them this year.
Best: Richo, Noblett, Pollard, Lloyd, Phillips, Carter
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