CHFA. Forest-Stanley has reached the Grand Final of the Seniors competition after a dominating 77-point win over Scotchtown in Smithton on Saturday.
With the Demons finishing the regular season undefeated, Scotchtown had their work cut out for them to try and give the higher-ranked opponents their first loss of the year.
However they came out with a sense of determination and took the fight to the premiership favourites, managing to stay within an arm’s length for most of the quarter.
With the likes of Kieren Baldock, Josh Smith and Alex Walter leading by example, the underdogs showed tremendous fight with the first-half deficit kept to a respectable 24 points.
The second half however was a vastly different story, as Forest-Stanley started to showcase their superiority over the competition.
With the help of Joel Quilliam, Jaiden Free, Scott Bryan and Guy Kearnes in midfield, the Demons’ forwards saw plenty of opportunities as they began to take control of proceedings.
That dominance never dissipated as the unbeaten side stormed home, with Elliott brothers Matt and Ben scoring 11 of the side’s 17 goals to give Forest-Stanley a comfortable victory.
In reflecting on the match, Demons coach Matt Elliott was pleased with the end result but steered clear of complacency, pointing to the undefeated squad’s start to the final.
“[In] the first quarter there was a lot of pressure from both sides; skill errors were costing us,” he said.
“It was a relief to get the win – all the hard work paid off.”
Despite suffering the loss, Scotchtown coach Brent Burgess remained positive on his sides’ efforts and is looking forward to this weekend’s Preliminary Final clash.
“We had four kids under the age of 17 and we felt this was a great learning experience,” he said.
“We as a group are champing at the bit for the opportunity to play a fast-improving Redpa side [that] boasts finals experience.”
In other post-season clashes, Irishtown booked a Grand Final spot after a 50-point victory over Scotchtown in the Reserves.
The Canaries began with intent and kept their opposition scoreless in the first quarter, leading by 21 at quarter-time and every break thereafter to earn a decisive win.
Clinton “Ox” McLaren returned from the senior side to boot four goals for Irishtown, while Martyn Carr and Sam Brookes were named among Scotchtown’s best on the day.
Meanwhile, it was a third loss on the day for Scotchtown as the Under 17s went down by seven points to Irishtown in the Tigers’ first taste of defeat in 2015.
With both sides benefiting from the extra legs of Smithton juniors who have finished their NWJFL season, scores remained neck-and-neck throughout the match with Irishtown decisively finding the goal square more often in the final quarter.
Mitchell Heald (three goals) and Isaiah Stokes (two) led the goals for Scotchtown, but it was the Canaries’ five individual goal kickers which got them over the line with Ethan Jackson’s impressive hanger also a highlight.
Played at Stanley Recreation Ground, Saturday August 29.
Under 17s: Scotchtown v Redpa
Reserves: Scotchtown v Forest-Stanley
Seniors: Scotchtown v Redpa