Grand Final '18: Demons vs Raiders (Men's Conference)
Tony "Whitey" White | 12.09.18
Clapham Demons 4.5.29 def. by Shepherds Bush Raiders 7.9.51
The Conference Grand final saw us come up against long-time rival the Shepard’s Bush Raiders. The Raiders have had a strong hold on the Conference cup, winning 15 of the past 17 premierships, so we were always going to be in for a real contest. We just got over the line in the Prelim and with a strong side going into the GF, we went in full of confidence but well aware of the opposition we were facing.
The first quarter was very physical and with high pressure from both teams scoring was hard to come by. It was the Demons that hit the scoreboard first, kicking the first two majors. The backline from the outset were under immense pressure but were able to repel attack after attack. In a best on ground performance Isaac Kirby was dominating in the air and had the Raiders forwards covered. For all the good work in the first it was a telling last 5 minutes for the Raiders as they managed to kick two late, putting them up by 4 points at quarter time.
The second quarter was all about the Raiders. Their midfield got to work and they started to control the game. For the Demons, we were left chasing. Clean possession was hard to come by and the Raiders slick ball movement resulted in back to back goals and the Dees were on the back foot. A disappointing quarter for the Demons as we went into half time 3 goals down. While margin didn’t seem too big, in a low scoring affair it was a long way back. The Raiders probably should have kicked more in this quarter if it wasn’t for the impressive work from Mangoes and Maxy down back.
The half time break came at the right time for the Dees and with some bigger bodies thrown in to the midfield for the third we started to get our hands on the pill. Metcalfe and G got to work and with big Alan providing first use in the ruck we started to look dangerous. The midfield work resulted in some good looks up forward and when Charlie Rae got his big dukes wrapped around a few, we started to look the goods. We dominated this quarter, kicking 2 goals 5 to the Raiders few behinds. It was game on! While the quarter was fantastic by the boys, we look back at the game and it was also the quarter where it got away from us... For all the hard work to get back to where we were, we missed some crucial goals (yours truly included), that would have gave us a handy lead going into the last. At the three quarter time, everything was to play for as scores were tied!
Disappointingly for the Dees, it was all one way traffic in the last. The Raiders kicked early goals to give them a handy lead and it was park the bus from there. We didn’t get a look in in the last as the Raiders were able to shut down the game. As the final siren went it was the Raiders running out 4 goal winners.
The loss was very hard to take but looking back we played really well, just came up against a better team on the day.
Best players: Kirby, Max, Alan, Mangoes, G, Metcalfe
Finally, a big thank you to all those that helped out this year, especially to Dom Dunn. To all the boys that played in magoos, it was a fantastic year, and one of my most enjoyable years I’ve had playing footy. In the words of Australian boxing icon, Jeff Fenech, ‘I love youse all’
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