Bays keep finals aspirations alive

TOUGH: Weerona Bay tackle South Whyalla in their thrilling three-point win over the Demons. The win keeps their finals aspirations alive.
TOUGH: Weerona Bay tackle South Whyalla in their thrilling three-point win over the Demons. The win keeps their finals aspirations alive.

Weeroona Bay kept their finals dream alive with an exciting three-point victory of South Whyalla, the win brings them level with fourth-placed Roopena with only percentage separating the two. It was a do or die clash for both sides with a finals spot up for grab, especially after Roopena upset North the day before to move into outright fourth. Conditions were almost perfect for football, the Tigers kicked to the Fisk Street end of the ground and couldn't have asked for a better start with an early goal to excitement machine Aaron Rogers.

A Kade Gale-Jones followed before Demon veteran Gav Jonker, who had started well with a couple of strong marks, made no mistake from 25 meters to get the Demons on the board. The Bays’ willingness to run hard was finding the Demons out, Lee Ringland and midfield enforcer Rowan Mitchell both hit the scoreboard giving the Tigers a 16 point buffer at quarter time.

The Demons have struggled with slow starts all season and with star midfielder Geoff Appleton being troubled by an ankle injury it wasn't going to be easy. Within minutes of the restart that man Rogers pounced on the ball and made no mistake giving a dream start to the quarter. The Demons have called upon Dave Cleary all year and he hasn't let them down, he started to win the contested footy through the midfield and the Demons worked their way into game. With goals hard to come by and with the Demons threatening, Tigers’ Stuie Baton broke free inside 50 and ran into an open goal to kick a crucial goal just before half time, Tigers by 20 points.

The third quarter was an arm wrestle especially after a small downpour, which made conditions quiet slippery, goals to Dan Schilling and Gav Jonker got the Demons within nine points and set the game up for an epic last quarter. The last term was contested footy at its best, both sides threw everything at each other like their life depended on it. The Demons were peppering the goals without much luck and with the Tigers looking dangerous on the break this game was anybodies. With seconds remaining and three points separating the two sides, Demon forward Henry Shae marked outside 50 played on immediately but before he got a shot on goal the siren sounded giving the Tigers a brilliant nail biting victory.

Best for the Tigers was Dylan Harris, the versatile youngster was lively at both ends of the game, Steve Hallam ran himself in the ground and was instrumental in his team’s victory, Jerry Cretsil had a great battle with Freak Phillips in the centre of the ground, Brad Yendall was at it all day winning crucial balls around the stoppages and Ryan Walsh did some nice things. Cleary stood out like a sore thumb in the centre of the park keeping his team in the game, Max Polkinghorne showed plenty of speed and used the ball well, Jacob Pickert controlled the smaller Tiger forwards rarely losing a contest, Daniel Chapman produced some line breaking runs off half back and Phillips rucked all day against younger opponents and his game was like the Freak of old.