Semi Final '19: Demons vs Lions (Women's Conference)
Ed Hooper | 25.07.19
Clapham Demons def. by Putney Magpies (Magpies forfeit)
Down and out by 2 points... The Conference girls had the toughest game of the club in the first week of finals, as the only team facing elimination in a 2 v 3 face off to get into the big dance.
Playing against Putney, we had a 1-1 ledger against them this year, the first where we didn't score at all, and the second a stirring win with a top strength side. Unfortunately due to injuries to both squads this week, Conference were a little weaker, but we were confident against Putney who only had 13 the morning of the game.
Bounds Green was the location, or The Hill as it's not known. We got the downhill first up, and peppered 4 behinds in the quarter. One of those agonisingly jussst scraped the padding and the Demons crowd groaned in perfect unison. Putney never managed to get it down their end, keeping our backs out of it.
The 2nd quarter however was a flip, with Putney equalizing with 4 behinds of their own. Eventually they did get the first goal of the match to be up 10-4. A free kick in front of goals to probably their best player, and she slotted it straight through.
Later though, we managed to kick it up the hill to our forward 50 and almost have some shots at goal. We took huge confidence out of this, as Putney hadn't managed that themselves down that end.
3rd quarter, downhill again. It was all or nothing. Gbanger had been having a great game down back, so we moved her to the midfield with Juicy and Liss and Lauren in the ruck, to really get the ball going forward. And didnt it pay off, with Gbanger kicking a booming goal, straight through the big sticks! that had eluded us all day. And a celebration to match! It put us up by 1 point, to cancel out the Putney goal in the 2nd.
The 4th quarter was do or die. Hold them out of the scoring end. With only 14 on the pitch, there had been no wingers all day, but we changed it up and told them to run into the middle and be defensive as hell. We ended up only having 3 in the forward line, which may have been to our detriment as we did get it rather deep a few times, but their extra back swallowed it up.
Unfortunately it was to no avail, as they kicked 2 behinds, and finished victors by 2 points in the end.
The best of the day was Lucy the captain, allowed to play loose as our 14th, she read the play beautifully and got plenty of the ball. Always a tenacious tackler, she was a huge reason we were so close. Alicia 'Lic' was also dominant, an English representative, who created several clearances and just as many opportunities as Lucy. Hard to split them to be fair.
In her last game for the Dees, Jayde Arnold was easily our best forward, being a good target and taking several strong contested marks for shots on goal. Amy W also played really well in her last game, and Jenna Green had an exceptional game from not playing before this year, dropping her Dees retirement after the match.
A huge credit to the girls, who weren't at top strength and were beaten by a 1s side as a seconds team. The girls gave 110%, left it all out on the park, and the improvement over the season was unprecedented. A great exhibition of #SheDeeFooty.
Editor's note: After writing this, Putney were found to have fielded an unqualified player and as such had to forfeit the result. Demons through to the grand final after all! For mine, the girls definitely deserve a second chance to take on the Swans in the big dance, and will give it their all again 💪
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