In­dus­tri­als play off for first time in 21 years

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LIFTOUT -

War­ragul In­dus­tri­als have ad­vanced to their first se­nior grand fi­nal in 21 years, de­feat­ing Neerim-Neerim South in an up­set for Sat­ur­day’s sec­ond semi fi­nal at Dar­num.

The In­dus­tri­als over­came a slow start to run over the top of the Cats and con­tinue the form that saw them de­feat Catani the pre­vi­ous week to record the clubs’ first se­nior fi­nal win in 15 years.

With for­mer Gee­long and Gold Coast AFL player Nathan Ablett watch­ing on, the In­dus­tri­als were sim­ply di­vine in the sec­ond half af­ter the Cats had es­tab­lished a handy buf­fer in the first half.

While a 21-point ad­van­tage at the long break saw the Cats threat­en­ing to run away with it, the wob­bles of pre­vi­ous fi­nals cam­paigns emerged as the In­dus­tri­als dom­i­nated the third term to put them­selves back into the con­test.

Ear­lier, it was the Cats who held sway to es­tab­lish a handy buf­fer at the long break.

Michael Ablett sent the In­dus­tri­als for­ward first, but Alex Gavin was able to in­ter­cept the at­tack.

The Cats scored the first goal from a bound­ary throw in, while the In­dus­tri­als couldn’t buy a score early as the Cats cleared a scrubbed kick for­ward from Tyson Bale.

Chris Urie sent the Cats long, but Mathew Willis spoiled the ball out of play.

Al­lan Chan­dler cen­tred for the Cats, but Cooper Minichiello cleared for the In­dus­tri­als as nei­ther side gave an inch.

Both teams traded at­tacks but were thwarted on each at­tempt.

Kody Wil­son broke the dead­lock for the Cats, with a long goal hand­ing a 12-point ad­van­tage at the first change.

The Cats started the sec­ond term with a cen­tre clear­ance find­ing Mor­row on the lead, and while his shot drifted across the face, a snap from the pack was on tar­get.

The In­dus­tri­als went long and Shane Ing­ham was able to pro­tect the flight of the ball to reg­is­ter the first goal for his side.

Nick­els goaled on the lead, be­fore Will Jol­ley cen­tred to Ing­ham to set up a soc­cer on goal to take the lead.

But it was the Cats who would kick the next three ma­jors to es­tab­lish a handy buf­fer.

A snap on goal put the Cats back in front be­fore an­other re­bound from Shiels set up the Cats’ fifth.

The Cats con­tin­ued to at­tack with the In­dus­tri­als de­fence hold­ing firm.

Ten­sions be­gan to boil over, with Shiels and Jol­ley ex­chang­ing jumper punches to the throat and find­ing them­selves forced to each spend 15 min­utes on the bench.

Mor­row con­verted a shot from out wide as the Cats went into half time well-placed with a 21-point ad­van­tage.

But the In­dus­tri­als were far from ready to lie down.

The In­dus­tri­als kicked the first goal of the third term, but the Cats were able to steady with a snap on goal.

Tyssen Mor­row got on the end of a long lead, only for the In­dus­tri­als to clear from a free kick.

A long shot from Kody Wil­son sailed out on the full, and Tye Hol­land cap­i­talised at the other end with a long goal to close the gap.

Al­lan Chan­dler took the ad­van­tage as the Cats aimed for the im­me­di­ate re­sponse. He looked for a lead­ing op­tion, but the pass was spoiled and rushed through for a mi­nor score.

The Cats went long and broke through for a snap on goal.

A hand­ball from Nathan Bayne set up the next at­tack, but the Cats player was run down and caught hold­ing the ball.

Ai­den Dib­s­dale also set up an at­tack from hand­ball, but Chris Urie couldn’t barge his way through and was also caught hold­ing the ball.

The In­dus­tri­als dom­i­nated the at­tack­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the re­main­der of the term.

A down­field free kick for a late push on Tye Hol­land re­sulted in a long goal and set the im­pe­tus for an In­dus­tri­als come­back of epic pro­por­tions.

While River Ford had been im­me­di­ately set upon from the next at­tack, the In­dus­tri­als reloaded and went long to find Corey Nick­els for a strong mark and goal.

Josh Seri found John Ikupu in space, but the kick for­ward sailed out of bounds.

Per­sis­tence paid off as the In­dus­tri­als scored the next ma­jor to close the gap.

Travis Og­den went long, but a ball up was forced.

The Cats looked to at­tack again, but got played by the dreaded foot­steps as Michael cleared for the In­dus­tri­als.

The Cats went for­ward again but couldn’t hold the jug­gled at­tempt at a mark. The In­dus­tri­als cleared through Shane Brew­ster and Will Jol­ley to set up a shot from out wide on the siren.

While the shot sailed out on the full, the In­dus­tri­als had all the mo­men­tum to close the mar­gin to just three points at the fi­nal change and give them­selves every chance of pulling off an up­set.

Good de­liv­ery from Tyson Bale found Brew­ster as the In­dus­tri­als con­tin­ued their mo­men­tum with the first ma­jor of the fi­nal term.

The In­dus­tri­als won the clear­ance and found Nick­ells on the long lead, who kicked truly.

A give and get from Calum Shiels set up an at­tack for the Cats, but a ball up was forced.

Wil­son found space for the Cats, but his shot slewed off the side of the boot and missed.

A long left footer put the ball deep into at­tack for the In­dus­tri­als, but the ball was rushed.

Dib­s­dale and Shiels com­bined for the Cats, but Chan­dler couldn’t hold the mark.

Dib­s­dale won a free kick for hold­ing the ball, and he con­verted to ex­cite the crowd once more.

Bale kicked for­ward into space, and while a ball up was forced, Jol­ley took ad­van­tage of the next op­por­tu­nity to crumb a goal.

Tim Le­ices­ter missed a snap on goal for the Cats, be­fore a free kick in front of goal was con­verted to close the gap again.

Shiels con­tin­ued to cut off at­tacks, but still the In­dus­tri­als con­tin­ued to press.

An im­pres­sive run from the wing ended out of bounds, be­fore Rus­sell Ware took a down­field free kick but the op­por­tu­nity was rushed.

Jol­ley missed a shot from half for­ward, but no mis­take from Brew­ster who goaled from a strong con­tested mark.

Shiels cut off an­other at­tack, be­fore Michael Ablett and Dy­lan Hol­land com­bined to send the In­dus­tri­als for­ward again.

In what typ­i­fied the in­spi­ra­tional sec­ond half ef­fort from the In­dus­tri­als, the fi­nal play of the day saw Tye Hol­land take a strong mark op­posed to Cats ruck­man Alex Gavin and kick a long goal to seal the In­dus­tri­als’ place in the grand fi­nal in a fort­night’s time. Ablett

War­ragul In­dus­tri­als player Jack­son Kos kicks into at­tack.

Right: Neerim-Neerim South player Calum Shiels hand­passes to team­mate Dou­glas Black as War­ragul In­dus­tri­als player John Ikupu moves in to ap­ply pres­sure; Pho­to­graphs: Tom El­ton.

War­ragul In­dus­tri­als player Mathew Willis marks.

Neerim-Neerim South’s Ai­den Dib­s­dale fails to es­cape a strong tackle from War­ragul In­dus­tri­als player Travis Og­den.

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