MATCH REVIEW: Platinum Division Reserves Grand Final
Southern Power vs. Western Magic – Blacktown ISP on Sunday 8th September
Sunday’s last Grand Final was the Platinum Reserves, where Southern Power took on Western Magic; in a match that would go down to the wire.
Southern Power went into the game having had the benefit of the week off. Finishing minor premiers after the home and away season, the Power had a good win over Macquarie Uni in the Major Semi-Final to win through to the big game. Western Magic had to do it the hard way through two sudden death semi-finals. They proved good enough as they overcame Penrith in the Minor Semi-Final and Macquarie Uni in the Preliminary Final to be a part of this Grand Final.
There wasn’t much between the two sides in a tough and uncompromising opening quarter of footy. The pressure was piled on, and a willing contest was unfolding. The Power won the opening quarter, kicking two goals to one to lead by five points at the first change. It was clear that this was going to be a tough and physical game of footy and there wasn’t going to be much separating the two sides.
The second quarter followed a similar pattern to the first. Ball-up after ball-up, throw-in after throw-in. Plenty of ferocious tackles and the faithful of both clubs watching on from the grandstand were getting into the spirit of the occasion with some vocal support coming through. Both sides were looking for the weakness in the other but coming up blank. Just one goal apiece would be scored, with the quarter finishing as it started with the Power five points ahead.
By the time the two sides returned to the field for the second half, the shadows were lengthening and the lights were on. The yellow ball moved from end to end, but scoring opportunities were hard to come by as the miserly defenders of both sides held their own and cleared the ball out of trouble time and again. But the Power took the upper hand, kicking the only goal of the quarter. It was an 11-point lead to Southern Power at the last change; still close enough for the Magic to chase down.
The coaches made passionate pleas to their charges during the break. Now or never. A premiership was on the line, less than two goals in it. In a low-scoring contest, a few minutes of brilliance could turn the premiership their way.
After a tough three quarters, the Power were exhausted. But they had to keep fighting, as the Magic kept coming. The Power were unable to score in the last quarter, rarely getting the ball anywhere near their forward 50. But their defenders were magnificent. The Magic kept coming, putting the ball into their forward zone time and again. A Magic goal got the margin back to within a kick. Another goal would give them the lead.
But it was not to come. A few behinds, but it wasn’t enough. The Power were defending grimly against wave after wave of Magic forward presses. But in the end, time ran out; and the Power had hung on for dear life to take the Grand Final by just two points.
It was a hard loss for the Magic to take. They had fought back so well, and competed so strongly all day, to lose by the slimmest of margins. Daniel Lim, Andrew Carey and Tyler O’Neill had led the way for the Magic. They had every reason to be proud of their efforts in making it to the Grand Final and competing so strongly all day. But in the end, the prize they were after was just agonisingly short.
But to the winners go the spoils, and on the day it was Southern Power that got it done. Chad Edwards, Lachlan Brady and Matt Grant were best for the Power; but it had been a solid team effort and all 22 of their number played their role in making the premiership happen.
It’s the first time in many years that a club has won premierships in both seniors and reserves. No club did it last year, or during the divisional era between 2009 and 2017 and you’d be going back a few years in the record books before that to find an occurrence. What the Power achieved on this Grand Final day is breaking a very long drought.
They’ll be partying in the Shire for many more days yet.
Southern Power – 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 | 4.4 (28)
Western Magic – 1.2 | 2.3 | 2.5 | 3.8 (26)
Southern Power Goals – J Lucas 2, C Hains, L Davis
Western Magic Goals – P Barclay, M Papageorgiou, M Yuvarajan
Southern Power Best – C Edwards, L Brady, M Grant, T Busana, M Heffernan, M Lowe
Western Magic Best – D Lim, A Carey, T O’Neill, O Glass, C Steven, A Hill.