Demons march to first game win

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGILLIVR­AY

Horsham un­furled its 2018 Wim­mera league premier­ship flag be­fore an An­zac Day block­buster on Thurs­day night, but coach Deek Roberts said his side must im­prove if it hopes to de­fend its ti­tle.

The Demons got off to a slow start against Horsham Saints un­der lights at Horsham City Oval be­fore kick­ing away in the fi­nal quar­ter to record a 14.8 (92) to 6.6 (42) vic­tory in their first match of the sea­son.

Roberts was pleased with his side’s sec­ond half but ad­mit­ted it took some time for the Demons to find their groove.

“I think at quar­ter time the turnovers were 27-22 – that is pu­trid,” he said.

“It prob­a­bly wasn’t the great­est game to watch, and I wouldn’t say it was bad con­di­tions out there. We tried to make the mil­lion-dol­lar kick in­stead of just tak­ing the easy one.

“In the sec­ond half we gave the hands a bit more and didn’t go back be­hind our mark.

“I’d rather hand­ball over the top and move it quickly be­cause we’re a quick team, but in the first half we were happy just kick­ing over the mark, kick­ing down the line and we had to get that out of our game.”

The Saints led by a point at quar­ter time after get­ting the bet­ter of a spir­ited

but scrappy open­ing stanza, but the Demons be­gan to con­trol the match in the sec­ond term.

Rhona Con­boy’s in­ter­cept work across half-back helped turn de­fence into at­tack for Horsham and the side re­sponded with a quick four-goal burst in the first eight min­utes of the sec­ond quar­ter.

A su­perb goal on the run from the pocket by Saints coach Luke Fisher kept his side in the match in the sec­ond quar­ter and a snap by Ja­cob O’beirne mid­way through the third drew the vis­i­tors within 10 points, but Horsham kept its com­po­sure to blow the Saints away in the fi­nal term.

Fisher lamented a lack of fo­cus by his charges in key stages of the game.

“There were two five-minute patches where they prob­a­bly kicked 10 of their goals, and they kicked 13 for the night so the rest of the game was fairly even,” he said.

“They were clean, ran for each other, worked for each other and we let them off the leash a cou­ple of times.

“We weren’t work­ing hard into space and weren’t push­ing for each other out wide.

“You would’ve thought it was our first game for the year and not theirs.”

Fisher said he was en­cour­aged by the per­for­mances of O’beirne and young de­fender Will Kennedy, who pro­vided plenty of run out of the back­line. Con­boy and Cullen Wil­liams were out­stand­ing in de­fence for the Demons, while at the other end spear­head Josh Mibus booted five goals.

The Demons now take on South­ern Mallee Giants at Hopetoun on Satur­day in a re­match of last sea­son’s grand fi­nal.

The clash should be an in­trigu­ing one, with the Giants com­ing off a hard-fought win against War­rack Ea­gles to move to 2-0 at the week­end.

The Ea­gles led by two goals at quar­ter time but were grad­u­ally reeled in by the Giants, who even­tu­ally ran out 11.11 (77) to 9.9 (63) win­ners.

A three-goal per­for­mance from South­ern Mallee’s Coleman Schache earned him best afield honours, while Mitchell Glee­son shared in the spoils up for­ward with four goals.

Ea­gles co-coaches Shan­non Ar­gall and Ryan Mcken­zie were stand­outs for the home team.

Ararat stayed atop the ladder with a dom­i­nant 86-point road win against Nhill. The Rats came out fir­ing in a six-goals-to-none open­ing term and were helped by their ac­cu­rate con­ver­sion in front of goals, boot­ing 19.5 (119) to 4.9 (33) for the match.

A four-goal haul from Rats mid­fielder Jack Gan­ley was the stand­out per­for­mance of the day.

Gan­ley missed a large part of last sea­son with a bro­ken leg but has been in fine form to start 2019, named in Ararat’s best play­ers in all three matches so far.

Minyip-mur­toa was far too strong for Dim­boola, record­ing 31 scor­ing shots to 13 in a 14.17 (101) to 4.9 (33) win at Dim­boola.

Re­cruits Tim and Ben Mcin­tyre were in the thick of the ac­tion for the Bur­ras and were among six play­ers who booted two goals apiece.

Ash Clugston, who re­turned to Dim­boola this year after sev­eral sea­sons at Jeparit-rain­bow in the Horsham Dis­trict league, was named the Roos’ best player and coach Justin Buge­laar was the side’s only mul­ti­ple goal-kicker.

The Roos have an­other tough test ahead against Ararat at Alexan­dra Oval on Satur­day, while Stawell will host War­rack Ea­gles and Nhill will travel to Cough­lin Park to take on Horsham Saints.

Minyip-mur­toa has a round three bye.

GOTCHA: Horsham Saint Sam Clyne tack­les Horsham’s Rhona Con­boy who pro­duced a be­ston-ground per­for­mance. Pic­ture: PAUL CAR­RACHER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.