Demons storm to premiership success
HORSHAM has once again claimed Wimmera Football League premiership honours after producing a come-from-behind victory over Southern Mallee Giants at Anzac Park on Saturday.
The Demons added to their remarkable premiership record by claiming back-to-back success and rubber stamping its 13th premiership in 16 years.
In their ?rst attempt at Wimmera League premiership success, the Giants were gallant in defeat but, like many teams before them, found the experience and ?tness of the Demons too great to handle.
In front of a huge crowd, a ?ve-goal ?nal term stamped the Demons success but it was
the Giants who jumped out of the blocks in the opening term and dominated scoring with ?ve unanswered majors.
On a warm, sunny afternoon on a well prepared Anzac Park surface, the Giants kicked with a slight wind advantage but it was the teamwork of the orange and grey who dominated from the mid?eld and found reliable avenues to goal for an accurate 5.1.
An early foray in attack from the Demons resulted in a minor score to opening scoring as the Giants made full advantage of its chances with Josh Webster opening scoring with the ?rst major nine minutes into the opening term.
The goal gave a Giants a huge waft of con?dence as Jackson Fisher goaled before Brock Orval sharked the ball from a pack and ran into an open goal for the Giants third for the quarter.
The Giants were all over the Demons with its tackling pressure and use of the ball setting up scoring chances and it was James Wray who made the most of his team’s
dominance to kick his side’s fourth for the term.
With the quarter ticking into overtime the Giants sensed its hold on the game
as Jackson Fisher kicked his second for the term as the Giants took a 28-point lead
into quarter time, holding the Demons goalless and three minor scores.
Coach Coleman Schache was behind many of his team’s forward entries as he teamed with Sam Weddell and Sam White to close down the Demons forward line and send the ball into attack.
The second quarter saw the Demons hit the scoreboard when key forward Josh Mibus
broke the shackles of the Giants defence to convert a set show as the Demons started to
use the ball with effect with the use of the breeze. A goal to John Wood gave the Demons successive goals before Giants goalsneak Nick O’Farrell snapped a clever goal from close range to help his side maintain a four-goal lead as goals became hard to come by through some strong pressure from both sides in the mid?eld.
Mibus kicked his second for the term as the Demons cut the margin to 14 points at half time as he ?nished off the defensive work of Ben Lakin and Ryan Kemp’s hard
running through the mid?eld.
Horsham’s work in the second half of the second term had many in the crowd
thinking the Giants would need a repeat of its ?rst quarter efforts and through O’Farrell gave themselves the perfect start to extend its lead.
Sensing the most vital part of the match, the Demons lifted as workhorse Jordyn Burke produced a damaging period of play as he lifted his side with his work through the
mid?eld and down back.
His work resulted in setting up forward entries and through the strong marking power of Mibus, the Demons cut the margin as the big forward kicked successive goals and cut the margin to 10 points.
The Giants were able to ?nd an answering goal when Ben Webster extended his side’s lead before Kemp converted a set shot after a couple of minor scores which cut themargin to seven points at three quarter time.
The work of the Demons in the second half of the third term was vital to its chances
as its trusted game plan and ?tness would play such a big role in the ?nal term as they
showed when Hobbs goaled within the opening minute of the ?nal stanza.
And when Wood goaled shortly after, the Demons had taken the lead for the ?rst time
in the match and it was a lead that they would not relinquish as they dominated to the ?nal siren.
A goal to Brad Hartigan extended his side’s lead and before anyone in the crowd could blink the Demons had opened up a two-goal lead and were looking winners with its work from the centre of the ground.
A goal to Beau Cross basically iced the contest before a consolation goal to Haydn Drew momentarily cut the margin as Hartigan then put the ?nishing touches on the match with his second goal from 40 metres.
Hartigan’s goal put the Demons 19 points in front with his side’s ?fth goal of the term as Lakin, Cullen Williams, Darcy Taylor and Rhona Conboy dominated
in defence and helped set up scoring chances where Burke, Kemp, Wood and Mibus
provided options in attack. And with the work of Hobbs, Brodie Mines, Alex Har? eld and Riley Williams, the Demons were able to continue its remarkable grand ?nal record, stunning the Giants and many in the crowd like they had done so many times in the past.
Defender Lakin received the Greg Binns Medal for best on ground with a hard working
four quarter performance as injured coach Deek Roberts accepted the premiership cup to the delight of Demons players and supporters.