Grand Final '18: Demons vs Wildcats (Men's Premiership)
Frank "Frank" Caldow | 12.09.18
Wandsworth Demons 8.13.61 def. West London Wildcats 9.6.60
Coming off a convincing Preliminary Final win against North London it was an indifferent build up for the Grand Final with Rousey who ran training through the year away for good and myself away for the whole week building up to the big day. Jeffers and Big Guy took the reigns and made sure the week ran smoothly for the players to get them prepped for the biggest day of any Aussie Rules league across the world, the Grand Final.
The Weather was close to perfect, low 20s with a gentle breeze favouring the city end. With the club having 3 of 4 trophies already in the cabinet it was now our time to put it all on the line for back to back premierships, something never achieved by the Demons Mens Prem side ever before.
We had been slow out of the blocks the last 3 weeks so a focus for the boys was at winning early contents to give us scoring opportunities whilst limiting theirs. The boys responded and we were dominant early with most of the play being in our forward half. Everything was working and at quarter time we held a 22 point lead which could have been more as we did have 7 scoring shots to 0.
Kicking against the breeze in the second term it was now important that we backed up the good first quarter work to keep the scoreboard advantage. Like good teams do Wests hit back and for the most part of the second quarter held the ascendancy, kicking 4 goals to 1 and bringing the game right back into the balance.
Kicking with a dying breeze we were back to square one with the game right on the line. We kicked the first 2 of the term as we looked to again build a healthy 14 point lead. Wests then had a strong 5 minutes display kicking 2 in quick succession to bring it back to a 3 point ball game.
The message at the final break was to focus on impacting positively on every contest because the whole season was defined on what happened in that 25 minutes. The Wildcats started strongly kicking the first goal and getting out to a 5 point lead with the game seemingly on their terms. To our credite we responded qiuickly with the next 2 goals to get out to a 8 point lead midway through the term. Wests kicked the next to draw within 2 points with a couple of minutes to go. Wests gun Sandilands took a strong mark and went back and narrowly missed to bring it to a one point game with 2 minutes to go. They continued to come hard but without being able to get any clean ball forward we were able to hold the line and win in spectacular fashion by a single point.
A really fantastic effort by the playing group to hold strong under significant pressure to be crowned back to back premiers for the first time in the clubs history.
Dec Bevan was fantastic up forward and awarded the Best of Ground Medallion. Irving played a super all round game taking some telling marks and racking up plenty of possessions. Gavin in the ruck was telling and with Pollard and Jeffers gave us first use and winning the crucial midfield battle. Rambo did a fantastic job tagging in the forward line, significantly limiting one of their best rebound ball users. Nobby, Richo and Williams were all great down back and telling in crucial moments. It really was a fantastic team effort from the whole team and a win everyone should be really proud of.
As we look to next year the club will change shape again especially with the departures of Rousey and Mitch Skelly who were both in Head coaching positions for the Mens and Womens divisions. Both have been invaluable assets to the club and will leave a big gap that needs to be filled if we are going to press for 3peat in both the mens and womens divisions. If anyone is interested in Coaching in 2019 even at assistant level please chat to myself or Xavier as the success of the club hinges on having as many contributing volunteers both at committee and club level as possible.
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