Grand Final: Demons v West London Wildcats (Premiership)

Frank 'Franfray' Caldow | 16.08.16

Wandsworth Demons 7.1 (43) def. by West London Wildcats 14.10 (94)

After a successful day for the Wandsworth Demons with both the Social and Conference sides winning flags there was one more win from the Premier team to make it 3 from 3 and create history for the club. We had prepared as well as we could and now all that it came down to was those last 4 quarters against a formidable Wildcat outfit.

Kicking with a 2 goal breeze in the first term we struggled to get into the game on any angle. We were second to the ball, and umpiring decisions were going against us from the first bounce. This combined with basic skill and decision making errors from senior players allowed Wildcats to kick the first 2 of the match. We started to control momentum towards the back end of the quarter, with our standout forward of the past month Chris Cooney kicking the first in the latter part of the quarter. But once again, another clanger kick saw a direct turnover turn into a goal and allowed Wildcats to go into the first break with a 2 goal advantage and with this their tails wagging.

The second quarter we fought hard against the breeze, matching Wildcats at ground level and fighting hard against the obvious breeze. Halfway through the term we were still 2 goals down but some ill-disciplined acts were starting to hurt us. This climaxed at the 16 minute mark of the quarter when our CHB Naffan Stewart caught a player high, an obvious free kicked was wrongly deemed a reportable and yellow card offence, and with this he was sent off for 25 minutes. For the 3rd time in the half Wildcats goaled from a 50 meter penalty and it was clear there was a stale taste in the air. A lucky kick forward late in the half and a good set shot saw Wildcats go into the main break with a commanding 4 goal lead and an extra player for the first 16 minutes of the 3rd term.

Kicking with the breeze in the 3rd quarter it was always a very tough task being down to 17 men and unfortunately it was one of those days we couldn’t get a run on, the Wildcats far too strong with the extra man kicking out to a 43 point lead. When Naffan returned to the field at the 16 minute mark we did manage to kick the last 2 goals of the quarter to bring the margin back to 31 points at the last change and had some belief that we could do the miraculous.

The last quarter we rolled the dice with 4 ROW’s back but like they had all day, the Wildcats flexed their midfield muscle early and turned a very difficult task of a 5 goal deficit against the breeze into an impossible 8 goal lead at the 10 minute mark. The game and season was done, there was nothing to do other than watch the last 15 minutes of the season end with a disastrous L.

From a Premier perspective it was a very frustratingly disappointing way to watch everything capitulate in front of us like that. What a loss like that does is make the fire burn brighter as we look to 2017 and how we will go about winning that elusive Premier flag. From a club perspective it has been a sensational year for the Club, winning 2 premierships, but most importantly having excellent participation, engagement and overall feeling around the club. We are a club built on good people forming long-term friendships and this is what will hold us in fantastic stead as we look to the future. I would like to thank our President Jimmy Perrett and the committee for being fantastic to work with for the year in structuring the season up, to all the other coaches for their work getting their teams to finals and to all our players and supporters for their positive contribution throughout the year. See you all next season!

Goals: Cooney 2, Tex 1, Rabbits 1, Rousey 1, Jet 1, H 1

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