Par­ish seizes chance to shine

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - DAMIEN RACTLIFFE

CAS­SIDY Par­ish has stamped him­self a match­win­ner af­ter pro­duc­ing a stun­ning dis­play in yes­ter­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal win at Si­monds Sta­dium.

Qual­ity runs in the fam­ily, with his brother Darcy, firmly en­trenched in Essendon’s best 22.

But as far as the Fal­cons mid­fielder is con­cerned, ge­net­ics only take you so far.

Cas­sidy has made sure hard work al­lows him and his side to live out its po­ten­tial, and that was ev­i­dent yes­ter­day.

Backs against the wall and 12 points down at half­time, Par­ish lifted his side off the can­vas.

He amassed 14 dis­pos­als in the third term, fin­ish­ing with 32 touches, four clear­ances and four tack­les.

Cham­pion Data statis­tics rank him in the elite few in the TAC Cup.

Un­til Round 15, Par­ish ranked sec­ond in to­tal dis­pos­als, first in con­tested pos­ses­sions, first in loose ball gets, third in hard ball gets and No.1 in clear­ances.

Since then, he has been in his side’s best four of five matches.

“If you play well in fi­nals it’s ob­vi­ously big,” Par­ish said.

“But I’m not re­ally think­ing about how it’s per­ceived out­side the club; I’m just want­ing to win the premier­ship and that’s all.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s a dream come true (to make it). We’ve all been work­ing to­wards it and I was in the team last year that lost in the pre­lim to San­dring­ham, so it’s just an awe­some feel­ing around the club.

“I’ve re­ally got the be­lief we can win it.”

Be­lief was a key word among the Fal­cons af­ter the re­al­i­sa­tion they’d earnt a spot in Sun­day’s de­cider.

They might have been in trou­ble at half­time, but the way they turned the ta­bles has them con­fi­dent they can face any chal­lenge.

“Through­out the sea­son we’ve had re­ally good sec­ond halves,” Par­ish said.

“At half­time, ‘DOK’ (coach Daniel O’Keefe) just said keep be­liev­ing in our­selves and our run­ning abil­ity will get us over the top in the end.

“There’s still one more game to go and I want to win re­ally bad.”

O’Keefe heaped plau­dits on the 18-year-old Winchelsea prod­uct, who was sure to have at­tracted the at­ten­tion of AFL scouts.

“In the third quar­ter, he was nearly sin­gle-hand­edly help­ing to push us across the line,” he said.

“I’m su­per proud of Cas­sidy be­cause I feel he’s had a lot of crit­ics. He’s proved some wrong in the back half of the sea­son. He’s an es­sen­tial part of our group.”

Fal­con Cas­sidy Par­ish

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