Semi Finals: Demons vs South East London Giants (Women)

Mitch 'Boxy' Skelly | 27.07.16

Wandsworth Demons 6.6 (42) def. South East London Giants 5.8 (38)

And the season continues!

Going into Sunday’s do or die final against the Giants on their turf we knew it was going to be tough. 11 a side football on a full ground is not ideal and doesn’t really suit our strengths as a team, this change coupled with some midfield outs could have swung the outcome against us, however like always the Demons took it in their stride and did what had to be done… win!

The first quarter was a blinder. Crabs got her midfield first use of the ball, Onora being the prime mover in the guts, and this gave our forwards plenty of opportunity. The game was played at high tempo and as usual Amy 'Hammer Time' Hammond was charging around like a bull at a gate. Unfortunately we saw Hammer go down early, and for Hammer to stay down like that we knew something was not good. The diagnosis was quickly made and we found out she had fractured her Fibula. Whilst this was devastating for the team and of course Hammer (who planned to be sailing Croatia next week), the passion she showed for the Demons was the stuff of legends, not only singing the song on trainer Rachel’s shoulders, she then headed to “Gigs” with her leg in plaster and her footy kit for some post-match frothies… outrageous stuff! Anyway, back to the game. Townsy and Tess were looking as dangerous as ever and got us going with 3 goals in the first term.

We knew the Giants would come back hard with the breeze in the 2nd quarter, with VC Coota now also injured with a hyperextension of the knee our backline was under the pump. Princess and Becks both rebounded well from the back half, with Nips, Frenchy, Reidy and Goldy playing lock down roles. Unfortunately we had little answer to the Giants number 15 who was running rampant. With the additional space of 11 per side it allowed her to continually run the wings and have shots at goal. The Giants hit the lead just before half time. 

As the game wore on legs got heavier and heavier. When in possession the Dees were able to cut open the Giants with some wonderfully executed kicks and smart footy. Linda, Tessa and Kaz were all expertly finding space and using each other well. Up forward Noodles was now running the show and doing everything she could to get us in front. As usual our backs just kept rebounding the ball… when it wasn’t flying over their heads of the boot of #15.

Whilst we did dominate play there wasn’t enough of a lead heading into the final quarter to feel confident. Crabs was hobbling around on 1 leg so Linda had to step up and take the ruck, with Noodles also having a run in the middle to mix things up. It was an absolute classic quarter of footy, rarely more than 6 points the margin we pushed and pushed knowing 1 goal could seal the win. Again we witnessed some great link up footy and finally Townsy was in space running towards an open goal. 1 bounce, 2 bounces, 3, 4 bounces…. With the crowd on their feet ready to go mental (or possibly ready to beat up Jet who was an absolute pest) our inspirational forward who slots them from everywhere somehow failed to score from 20m out! I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous as those last 5 minutes, the ball was locked forward with Screech now smashing into every contest. As the clock ticked down we could finally take a few deep breaths and wait for the umpire to blow time.

Games like that are amazing for building team spirit, the emotion shown by all after the siren was evidence of how much this meant to the team. Whilst we have to bid farewell to Damo and Aussie Steph for the remainder of the season (I think they’re the only two from the game), we will welcome back a couple more players for another crunch game with the Lions. We may not have beaten the Lions yet this season, however with determination like we saw on Sunday and a good week of training there is no reason we can’t continue the season for one more week and join the Hawks in the big dance.

Goals: Noodles 2, Tessa 2, Townsy 2

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