LAST CHANCE

McIvor Times - - SPORTS -

HEATH­COTE’S un­der 12 foot­ball team has one more chance to make it into the Bendigo Ju­nior Foot­ball League grand fi­nal af­ter suf­fer­ing its first loss of the sea­son in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal on Sun­day.

The Ju­nior Saints headed to neu­tral ground at North Bendigo to take on ri­vals Quarry Hill.

Stakes were high for both teams with the win­ner earn­ing a grand fi­nal spot and a two-week break, the los­ing team go­ing straight to the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against Kyne­ton.

Ex­treme wind, icy con­di­tions and threat­en­ing rain didn’t de­ter the Saints as they took con­trol from the first bounce with Tay­lor Maiden ruck­ing well.

The ball was quickly fired to the Saints for­ward where a lot of push­ing and shov­ing en­sued Thomas John­son pounced to score a mi­nor.

The team cap­i­talised on Quarry Hills poor kick outs soon af­ter with Bray­den Fer­gu­son slot­ting home a nice set shot kick­ing into the wind.

Seth Creevey, Kody John­son and Cal­lum Devine stood their ground in the back­line, com­bin­ing well to only con­cede one goal de­spite the De­mons on­slaught.

Des­per­ate for the next goal in the sec­ond quar­ter, both teams switched con­stantly be­tween of­fence and de­fence up and down the cen­tre cor­ri­dor be­fore Fergo booted long and high to Tay­lor who plucked it mid-air to play on and kick true for the Saints.

Da­mon Ryan-May had his run­ning legs on full speed soon af­ter, putting the ball up high for Oliver ‘Plugga’ Ayres to take an­other great mark in front of goal.

The goal to Ayres had the team and crowd elated be­fore the half time break.

To Quarry Hill’s credit, they did not give up man­ag­ing to nar­row the gap in the third quar­ter, Heath­cote’s Lexi Jor­gensen-Neave, Ami-May Burgess, Jesse Bruce and tackle mas­ter Jimmy Pringle all dis­play­ing courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep pos­ses­sion and push for­ward.

Har­ri­son Fer­gu­son pro­duced some magic soon af­ter, kick­ing a wob­bler from 30 me­tres that some­how avoided eight play­ers and bounced through the big sticks.

Heavy tag­ging and in­juries took its toll on the Saints in the fi­nal quar­ter. The Maiden sib­lings — Blake, Brooke and Tay­lor — and Han­nah Cole­man, Nik Hans­son, Tanika Cook, and Ryan Foster were all in ac­tion but the Saints were un­able to cap­i­talise kick­ing into the wind and beat the De­mons on the day.

The fi­nal score saw Heath­cote 4.8 (32) to Quarry Hill 7.3 (45).

Next week will see the Saints take on Kyne­ton in a must win to se­cure a spot in the grand fi­nal.

Goals: Bray­den Fer­gu­son, Tay­lor Maiden, Oliver Ayres, Har­ri­son Fer­gu­son.

Coun­try Kitchen Award – Lexi Jor­gensen-Neave

Jaime John­son Plumb­ing Award – Ami-May Burgess Coach Award – Tay­lor Devine Foot­ball Award – Han­nah Cole­man Last week, on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 30, a se­lected few from the Heath­cote Ju­nior Foot­ball Club were in­vited to Bendigo Ju­nior Foot­ball League’s Best and Fairest Vote Count.

Heath­cote had a good num­ber of play­ers with points in these votes and two lucky ones man­aged to score quite well.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Bray­den Fer­gu­son for scor­ing 30 points and fin­ish­ing equal first on the leader board, and fur­ther con­grat­u­la­tions to Thomas John­son who came in fourth with 19 points.

A spe­cial men­tion to James Pringle, Tanika Cook, Han­nah Cole­man, Blake Maiden, Har­ri­son Fer­gu­son and Ryan Foster who all man­aged to score in these votes.

The Best and Fairest votes are com­piled dur­ing each game played through­out the sea­son and are de­cided by the field um­pires in a three-vote sys­tem.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to ev­ery­one’s ef­fort’s this sea­son.

Heath­cote’s un­der 12 foot­ball side has one more chance to make the grand fi­nal.

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