Cava­liers hold on in thriller

Southern Telegraph - - Sport - Mitchell Wood­cock

The Peel Cava­liers have con­tin­ued their dom­i­nance over the South West Foot­ball League, win­ning a thriller by nine points at Bendigo Bank Sta­dium on Satur­day.

It was the third straight win for the Cava­liers over the SWFL, tak­ing the game away in the first half when they held their op­po­nents goal­less to win 10.13 (73) to 10.4 (64).

But to the credit of the South West they never gave up, kick­ing 10 goals to one in the last half to give them­selves a chance.

The Cava­liers were boosted early by Brad Holmes’ ae­rial dom­i­nance, boot­ing the first two goals of the game from tight an­gles.

Fel­low for­ward Kyle West­wood then kicked his first, be­fore an er­ror by a South West of­fi­cial who was in the area of play gave a free kick to Jef­frey Carter, who made it four in a row for the Cava­liers.

Peel were find­ing too many open play­ers on their wings and moved the ball with pre­ci­sion.

Im­pres­sive ef­forts from de­fend­ers Josh Battaglia, Jon Mead­more and Will Oel­snik en­sured the dam­age on the score­board was not too sig­nif­i­cant but Peel had all the play.

When Tom Wood goaled af­ter the siren for Peel, it was look­ing as if it would be a good day for the home side.

Peel con­tin­ued to pu­n­ish the South West in the sec­ond term, out­run­ning the vis­i­tors and us­ing the ball a lot bet­ter than the op­po­si­tion, lead­ing by 59 points at the main break. It took un­til the first minute of the third term be­fore the South West kicked their first goal, when Pa­trick Far­rant con­vert­ing from just out­side the goal square.

This kick­started the South West, who booted the first four goals of the sec­ond half to get back into the con­test. The South West be­gan to bat­tle well in the mid­field, with Jace Cor­mack, Mead­more and Kane Bu­mann hav­ing an im­pact.

When Michael Battaglia kicked a goal af­ter the three-quar­ter-time siren, the mar­gin was just 38 points and it was game on. Far­rant snapped a goal early in the fi­nal term be­fore Brett Peake booted his third from 50m out to ig­nite the South West crowd.

Cor­mack booted a long-run­ning goal to re­duce the mar­gin to 12 points and for the first time in the game, the South West Foot­ball League had hope.

Dy­lan Heas­man re­duced the mar­gin to seven points with another run­ning goal and the South West had all the mo­men­tum.

But Peel held on to claim their first win of the Land­mark Cham­pi­onships.

Pic­tures: Jon Gell­weiler

Peel's Bradley Holmes snaps the first goal of the game.

Peel's An­drew Hay­don whips out a hand­ball un­der pres­sure from the South West's Jon Mead­more and Kieran Hug.

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