Saints, Demons reign

South Clare senior colts captain Lachie Benda and coach Mark Sims.

South Clare senior colts captain Lachie Benda and coach Mark Sims.

Charging away in the final term, the South Clare senior colts completed a faultless winter competition with a solid 32-point win over Mintaro-Manoora in the North Eastern Football League grand final on Saturday. 

The Eagles were still in the contest at half time; within reach of the 14 points in arrears from South Clare at the final break, but the Demons kicked six goals to three in the final stanza to secure the crown. 

The final scoreboard displayed South Clare 14.10 (94) defeating Mintaro-Manoora 9.8 (62).

“There was a focus from the beginning of the year to overcome a couple of mental hurdles from previous seasons. 

                                                                                                    “It took us two and a half quarters to shake the Eagles off,” South Clare coach Mark Sims said. 

“They were good early and we didn’t help ourselves in the second term, kicking 3.5. 

“There was a focus from the beginning of the year to overcome a couple of mental hurdles from previous seasons. 

Coach Sims said the side’s depth and fervour had been a real strength throughout the year.

“This squad, helped a good handful of under 14 players that came up from last year’s premiership side at that level, to play on the wings and flanks,” Coach Sims said.

“It was tremendously satisfying to go through the season undefeated.”

The standout performer was the Demons number five, Lachie McNeil, the son of former Norwood and Angaston footballer, Tim, who collected the best on ground accolade for an outstanding display across the ground. 

McNeil was asked to do a specific role for his coach and pulled it off very well. 

With a six-goal (and three-point) haul in the season decider and a massive 93 majors for the year, Lachie Benda was a potent target in attack. 

The skipper, Benda, had upwards on 140 scoring shots over the course of the 2016 campaign, which showed his potency as a scoring weapon. 

In the middle of the ground Nicholas Owen and runner Joel Sanders also were important performers for the undefeated Demons on grand final day. 

Zac Pink and McNeil both kicked a pair of goals as well in this win. 

The Eagles were well served by Flynn Nicholls, along with big men David Willmott and Daly Eichner, Christopher Dodd, Oliver Barrett

South Clare's best on ground Lachie McNeil.

South Clare's best on ground Lachie McNeil.

Harry Schoenberg was also a good avenue to goal, with a four-goal haul for the Eagles, while Foster Cunningham kicked two goals as well.

RSMU Football Club junior colts went down to the Saints on Saturday.

RSMU Football Club junior colts went down to the Saints on Saturday.

Saints rule supreme in under 14 competition

Only three points up at half time and with the game in the balance, a powerful third quarter helped set up the Southern Saints Under 14 team victory over Light district rivals, Riverton Saddleworth Marrabel United Football Club.

Although they had some nervous moments in the final term, the Saints held up and continued on playing good footy.

The game was still up for grabs when Riverton Saddleworth Marrabel United (RFSMU) Football Club’s Jesse Allan goaled 12 minutes in the last quarter, with the Saints just four points up at that point. 

But two late goals to Henry Kleinig and forward pocket HP (Hans Peter) Heinsen ensured the Saints lifted the shield high on the day it counted. 

Eudunda-Robertstown had finished the minor round in second spot, while the Hawks were minor premiers, with just a single loss (back in round six to the Saints) before going into grand final day. 

“The Hawks arrested the momentum for a while in the last term,” Eudunda Robertstown under 14 coach Kurubyn Floyd said.  

“I got pretty nervous there for a while.

“To the boys credit we bounced back and kicked a couple of late goals to seal the result. 

“After the last goal they would have been only 90 second to two minutes left. 

“Hamish played a pivotal game at centre half back and was easily best on ground.”

Coach Floyd said young ruckman Lennan Coe played a huge part in the  good win. 

“It was pretty satisfying from a personal perspective, taking on the role at the start of the year and I’m pretty proud of the boys.”  

In the end, the Saints held on for a second victory at this level since the Eudunda and Robertstown clubs amalgamated back in 2010. 

The final score was the Southern 7.6 (48) defeating RSMU 5.2 (32) by 16 points. 

The Saints pair of centre half back Hamish Mosey and on-baller Henry Kleinig were the leading performers for the victory. 

Mosey was rewarded for his game, with best on ground honours in the contest. 

Other players in the tri-colours of note on grand final day included ruckman Lennan Coe, key forward Ethan Pfitzner and defender Stephen Riley junior.

Runner up to the medal the previous Sunday, Kleinig finished with a match high three goals, while Heinsen finished with a pair of majors 

The Hawks best players in midfielder Ashley McInerney, Seth Condon and Jack Roocke. 

Their trio of ruckman Will Noll, Danyon Greenslade and Austin Redden also had an influence on the match.  

““I got pretty nervous there for a while. To the boys credit we bounced back and kicked a couple of late goals to seal the result. 

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