Fi­nals kick off

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGILLIVR­AY

Six Horsham Dis­trict foot­ball teams will now turn their at­ten­tion to­wards the fi­nals af­ter the home and away sea­son wrapped up on Satur­day.

Reign­ing premier Har­row-bal­moral heads a list of fi­nal­ists that in­cludes Eden­hope-ap­s­ley, Na­timuk United, No­rad­juha-quan­tong, Swifts and Jeparit-rain­bow.

The Roos are clear favourites to cap­ture back-to-back flags, a point un­der­lined by their dom­i­nant 23.11 (149) to 5.1 (31) win against the Storm at the week­end.

The flood­gates opened af­ter half time, with the Roos outscor­ing their op­po­nents 90-13 in the sec­ond half.

Mid­fielder Peter Staude led the rout, with Eric Guthrie and coach Nick Pekin also find­ing plenty of the ball.

Ed­ward Ferguson fin­ished the af­ter­noon with three goals — one of five Roos to do so — in his best game for the year.

It was a dis­ap­point­ing day for Jeparit-rain­bow, which re­mains the only club to have beaten Har­row-bal­moral in the past two sea­sons.

Back­man Si­mon Clugston and cen­tre Brad Hunter were the Storm’s best, while coach Dan Bat­son

kicked two on a lean day for the team’s for­wards.

Sec­ond-placed Eden­hope-ap­s­ley also pow­ered its way into the fi­nals with a 26.16 (172) to 3.3 (21) win against La­harum, orchestrat­ed by Bart Nolan, Will Mcevoy and Lachie Middleton.

Char­lie Camp­bell bobbed up to kick five goals for the Saints, match­ing Ge­orge Walker’s to­tal for the day.

Coach Tom Craw­ford and big man Mitch Hor­wood were La­harum’s best.

While the re­sult capped a dif­fi­cult sea­son for the Demons, sup­port­ers still had rea­son to smile as vet­eran and re­spected clubman Ger­ard ‘Jedi’ Matthews played his 250th se­nior game.

An­other club stal­wart — Ru­pa­nyup’s Paul Trot­ter — also notched an im­pres­sive mile­stone, play­ing his 300th game in an up­set win against fi­nals-bound Swifts.

The de­fender was among the Pan­thers’ best in the 14.7 (91) to 10.8 (68) win, with Elliot Kelly, Camp­bell Matthews and Darby Harrison shin­ing along­side him.

For the Bag­gies it was a less than ideal hitout be­fore the fi­nals, with de­fender Todd Matthews and five­goal for­ward Zach Salmi among the few stand­outs.

Na­timuk United se­cured its first top-three fin­ish in more than 20 years when it beat Kal­kee 13.20 (98) to 8.20 (68) at Kal­kee.

It was a day of cel­e­bra­tions for Rams sup­port­ers, who rel­ished beat­ing the Kees for the first time since the 1990s.

Mak­ing the day even more spe­cial was the fact club leg­end Si­mon Mentz — now in his 50s — played in the win.

Among a host of strong per­form­ers for the Rams were Justin Brom­ley, Mitch Rid­dell and for­ward Jay­don Stiles, who claimed the league goal-kick­ing ti­tle with seven ma­jors.

No­rad­juha-quan­tong also ended its sea­son on a high, sneak­ing into fourth place af­ter de­feat­ing Tay­lors Lake 11.19 (85) to 3.10 (28).

While the game was not the most aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing spec­ta­cle, the Bombers would still be thrilled to earn their first fi­nals berth in eight years.

They will take on Swifts in an elim­i­na­tion fi­nal at Kal­kee on Sun­day, while Na­timuk United will play a cut­throat fi­nal against Jeparit-rain­bow at Stawell’s North Park on Satur­day.

For full fi­nals pre­views for all teams, find a 20-page liftout in to­day’s edi­tion of The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser.

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