Min­genew thrill in grand fi­nal

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - Justin Fris Min­genew play­ers cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning a thrilling North Mid­lands Foot­ball League grand fi­nal en­counter over Coorow-Latham last Satur­day.

Min­genew recorded a thrilling 8.12 (60) to 8.6 (54) premier­ship vic­tory over Coorow-Latham in a truly mem­o­rable North Mid­lands Foot­ball League grand fi­nal at Mo­rawa last Satur­day.

The Bull­dogs, who trailed the Mag­pies by 19 points at quar­ter­time, grad­u­ally worked their way back into the con­test in the next two quar­ters and turned for home with a handy 10-point lead in their back pocket.

Trail­ing by three goals mid­way through the fi­nal term, the Mag­pies left noth­ing in the tank, fall­ing six points short.

Bull­dogs player-pres­i­dent Ge­off Cos­grove said he be­lieved leg speed played a part in hold­ing off the Mag­pies.

“I thought Coorow prob­a­bly set­tled a lit­tle ear­lier,” he said.

“They were lead­ing at quar­ter­time but once our blokes got go­ing and sort of split the game open, it sort of freed us and (we could) spread a lit­tle bit.

“We prob­a­bly had a lit­tle bit too much leg for them, I think, and it

prob­a­bly was the dif­fer­ence on the day.”

Cos­grove said he had watched the Mag­pies through­out the fi­nals series and was im­pressed with their brand of foot­ball un­der Matt Bur­ley.

The match punc­tu­ated an in­cred­i­ble fi­nale to the sea­son for both sides, who over­came var­i­ous chal­lenges at dif­fer­ent stages dur­ing the year.

De­spite be­ing on top of the lad­der for the ma­jor­ity of the year, the Bull­dogs had to man­age a change in coach­ing per­son­nel af­ter round 6, cou­pled with a rare form slump be­tween rounds 12 and 14, when they lost three matches in a row.

“It’s prob­a­bly been the most chal­leng­ing one (premier­ship year),” he said.

“We had a change of coach half­way through the sea­son — six weeks in, we were sit­ting on the top of the lad­der and we lost our coach (Jar­rad Kup­sch).

“A cou­ple of other boys, James Demp­ster and Justin Ba­gley, sort of just stepped up and took over the reins and car­ried on busi­ness as usual from that per­spec­tive.

“But it was def­i­nitely chal­leng­ing. We lost three games in a row to­wards the end of the sea­son; that’s the first time that’s hap­pened in my ca­reer since I’ve been play­ing (Cos­grove de­buted in 2003).”

The Mag­pies, who were the NMFL’s “Cin­derella story” in 2017, made their long-awaited re­turn to the fi­nals af­ter turn­ing heads with their form dur­ing the se­cond half of the sea­son.

With coach Bur­ley away in Canada at a fam­ily wed­ding on the first semi­fi­nal week­end, he was un­sure if his Mag­pies would still be alive in the fi­nals when he re­turned home.

They duly de­liv­ered and al­though dis­ap­pointed by the grand fi­nal re­sult, he was im­mensely proud of his men. “They tried their guts out,” he said.

“There was only one bad quar­ter of foot­ball that we played in the last 12 quar­ters of foot­ball, so re­al­is­ti­cally it’s not a bad ef­fort to play so well over the course of three fi­nals games.

“There were some boys who went into the game very sore who played rea­son­ably well as well, so it has been a year for some of them.

“I feel as though we prob­a­bly should have won af­ter the start we had, so that’s prob­a­bly what hurts the most. We gave a re­ally good look at get­ting over the line and we sort of just dropped that one quar­ter and just couldn’t get over them. It was a very even game and I sup­pose that is what grand fi­nals are meant to be like.”

Bur­ley said he was con­fi­dent the Mag­pies were in a good place and praised the sup­port re­ceived across the league on Satur­day.

“The club’s come a long way in a cou­ple of years,” he said.

“We’ve been strug­gling for a while with num­bers, (but) to go from for­feit­ing a game last year to be­ing able to get guys to come to­gether . . . and get into the fi­nals for a start and get to where we did, the club is ex­tremely proud of all the guys who put on the jumper for us this year.”

Pic­ture: Min­genew Foot­ball Club

Pic­ture: Zoe Keenan

Di­a­monds’ Sharleena East and Lisa Col­lard bat­tle it out with CC’s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.