Demons have a spell

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Uh-oh! Take a deep breath Wim­mera Foot­ball League!

Hor­sham has picked up the glow­ing tri­dent it’s been heat­ing in the coals and is now wav­ing it an­grily at all­com­ers from the top of the hill.

Sorry Minyip-mur­toa, the Demons have snatched premier­ship favouritism from un­der your nose, along with top spot on the lad­der, and will now en­joy a day off in the first week of the fi­nals.

Hor­sham, in streak­ing away from the Bur­ras in the sec­ond half of the last home-and-away round on Satur­day, have con­firmed what many were start­ing to think – the Demons are now the team to beat.

Ben Lakin, Tyler Blake, four­goal Joel Geue, Ryan Kemp, Deek Roberts and Billy Lloyd were all pri­mary con­spir­ers in the Hor­sham vic­tory.

But what now for Minyip­mur­toa – so long the com­pe­ti­tion yard­stick and now pre­par­ing for a qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal against War­rack Ea­gles at Stawell’s Cen­tral Park on Satur­day?

The Bur­ras have ob­vi­ously lacked some of their trade­mark lus­tre in the past cou­ple of weeks and to make mat­ters worse, im­por­tant mid­field run­ner Kade Pe­ter­ing went down at the week­end with in­jury.

While Minyip-mur­toa has a dou­ble chance up its sleeve, it still can’t af­ford to wait un­til the last minute to find its mojo.

The Bur­ras have a qual­ity side but that will count for lit­tle if the group fails to switch on dur­ing the heat of fi­nals.

Last week dash­ing Oliver Young, steadily con­tin­u­ing his stretch of good form, was again out­stand­ing and Clin­ton Mid­g­ley, John De­lahunty and coach Damian Cameron were heav­ily en­gaged in the ac­tion.

Cooper Bate­son also won ac­co­lades, as did Jae Mcgrath, but the com­bined camps at Minyip and Mur­toa would be bank­ing on oth­ers such as Gus Trethowan, Sam Win­field, War­wick Stone, Kieran De­lahunty, Luke Cham­ber­lain and Justin Garth hav­ing more of a say.

War­rack Ea­gles will en­ter the clash with the Bur­ras with a be­lief they can beat their more fan­cied op­po­nents.

The Ea­gles fin­ished off the sea­son with a hard-fought win over a de­ter­mined Dim­boola and used the oc­ca­sion to rein­tro­duce ruck­man-for­ward Shan­non Ar­gall af­ter an in­jury spell.

The Ea­gles also had to hold up against a solid Dim­boola come­back and what au­gurs well for the team this week­end was the form of ex­pe­ri­enced Kyle Ge­orge.

Jesse Mur­phy took his goal tally for the sea­son be­yond 50 and looms as a dan­ger­ous player in the fi­nals, as does Josh Bibby, not far be­hind him in the 40s.

Kieran El­lis again fea­tured promi­nently and also prom­ises plenty this week­end, as does Ryan Mcken­zie, Ri­ley Mor­row, Dan Bell and co.

The re­turn of Ar­gall, crit­i­cally, pro­vides the Ea­gles with an ex­tra weapon in at­tack. This will mean plenty against the big bod­ies of Minyip-mur­toa.

Minyip-mur­toa should still have the fire­power to beat the Ea­gles, but it might be by less than a kick.


The day af­ter a clash at Stawell de­ter­mines who will take on Hor­sham in a sec­ond semi-fi­nal, Stawell and Hor­sham Saints will meet in a cut-throat elim­i­na­tion match at Mur­toa.

With so much on the line, this con­test is sure to be a beauty.

The Saints will be keen to con­tinue their win­ning streak, fresh from a good win over Nhill, while Stawell will want to work on fan­ning the flames of fresh suc­cess born from a last-round vic­tory over Ararat.

Hor­sham Saints are com­ing home like a whirl­wind and on Satur­day fin­ished just over seven goals bet­ter than Nhill in a high-scor­ing game at Cough­lin Park.

But the Saints are set to swal­low a bit­ter­sweet pill, Ja­cob Cooke-har­ri­son kicked seven goals in a best-on-ground per­for­mance for the Saints on Satur­day but, cour­tesy of trans­fer rules, will be in­el­i­gi­ble for Sun­day’s fi­nal.

Matt Combe and Mitch Martin bagged seven goals be­tween them and oth­ers such as Kieren Pri­est­ley, Fer­gus O’con­nor and An­gus Gove stood out.

The Saints have some of the best run­ning play­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion un­der coach Luke Fisher but do they have enough fire­power to win a fi­nal? Stawell, sim­i­lar to War­rack Ea­gles, had to dig deep to hold off a will­ing op­po­nent on Satur­day, on that oc­ca­sion arch ri­val Ararat.

Im­por­tantly, it was some of Stawell’s pri­mary lead­ers who led the charge and they will again be piv­otal this week­end.

Vet­eran and Toohey Medal­list Brent Tuckey, if he can con­tinue good form, is a ma­jor threat against the un­der­sized Saints.

Ai­dan Potter and Sean Man­tell were also prom­i­nent in Stawell’s much-needed win and oth­ers such as Sam Williams and Cam Kim­ber won spots on the best-player list.

David An­drivon, who many con­sider Stawell’s most dan­ger­ous for­ward, was miss­ing from the side.

Hor­sham Saints are con­fi­dent they have Stawell’s mea­sure and will come from be­hind and edge ahead in a grip­ping con­test to win by four points.

IN THE BEST: Ben Lakin was among play­ers to help Hor­sham snatch top spot on the Wim­mera Foot­ball League lad­der. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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