Shepparton News

Keathy does Dons a mischief

- By AYDIN PAYNE

The first week of AFL finals action was a memorable one for the Goulburn Valley’s throng of talented exports.

Kialla’s Alex Keath was chief among them.

The Western Bulldogs defender enjoyed his first finals win on Sunday when he spearheade­d the Bulldogs to a classy triumph over Essendon.

A dominant second half from the Bulldogs had them run out 49-point eliminatio­n final winners in Tasmania.

With the win the Dogs snapped a three-game losing streak.

Keath, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said he was happy to have ticked off a career milestone.

“We were under a lot of pressure coming into that game, it was good to play some strong footy,” Keath said.

“It felt great, I played last year against St Kilda and we went down by a few points in the end . . . to get my first finals win, personally, was really pleasing.”

Keath enjoyed the win with fellow exports, Mooroopna’s Laitham Vandermeer (one goal) and Seymour’s Josh Schache (two).

Promising Seymour product and Essendon mid-season recruit Sam Durham had his remarkable year come to an end.

Keath and his teammates must now quarantine in Tasmania before flying to Queensland to take on the Brisbane Lions on Saturday.

The lockdown defender said the playing group was grateful to still be allowed to play.

“Firstly, we are really fortunate to be together and playing footy,” Keath said.

“Everyone’s got little bits and pieces at home that might be challengin­g, but I think the main thing is we are pretty grateful to be away together and able to play.

“We are looking forward to another week together and getting up to Brisbane and giving it our best shot.

“We are really excited to have earnt that opportunit­y to have another week in the finals and have a crack at the Lions.”

Keath f lagged he was likely to be assigned the task of curtailing the Lions’ star forward Joe Daniher on Saturday night at the Gabba.

“It’s definitely possible, they’ve obviously had a couple of injuries down there, so I think we have to be flexible and ready to adapt to what they throw at us,” he said.

“They might go another tall or throw in another ruckman. So it will depend on what it will look like down there, but last time I did play on (him).”

Invergordo­n export Lachie Ash has a perfect record in finals matches.

Ash, a member of the 2018 Shepparton premiershi­p, helped GWS salute in its eliminatio­n final win over Sydney.

It was the talented youngster’s first appearance in finals.

Meanwhile, Friday night’s qualifying final was not the way Finley product Tom Hawkins hoped to celebrate his 300th match.

Hawkins and his Geelong teammates suffered a 43-point drubbing at the hands of Port Adelaide.

Echuca’s Ollie Wines starred for the Power, while Deniliquin’s Todd Marshall contribute­d strongly.

The Cats now front up against the Giants tomorrow at Optus Stadium.

 ?? Picture: AAP ?? Memorable occasion: Kialla product Alex Keath won his first AFL final at the weekend when the Western Bulldogs defeated Essendon.
Picture: AAP Memorable occasion: Kialla product Alex Keath won his first AFL final at the weekend when the Western Bulldogs defeated Essendon.

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