The penultimate game of the 2017 Northern Areas competition proved to be one of two contrasting halves.
Broughton Mundoora has earned a rematch with competition heavyweights Crystal Brook, in the end defeating Orroroo by 48 points, but at half-time the game could have gone either way.
After the main break the Eagles stepped up into top gear kicking 9.6, while their hosts at Orroroo could only manage one goal for the half and two points in the critical third term when the game was up for grabs.
Broughton Mundoora Eagles had enough avenues to goal and had a breadth of players that got the job done.
The finals score was Broughton Mundoora 14.11 (95) to Orroroo 6.11 (47).
The Eagles has a number of key players that stood up.
Thomas Wheelen was at his athletic best in defence, while around the ball both Maddy Hayes and Tom Button were industrious.
Rian Crane continued to have a significant impact in a variety of roles and the run and carry James Cant gave the Eagles was important.
After struggling with his goal kicking the week before at Melrose Oval Christopher Elliott kicked a big bag of five in this clash. Skill, creative and opportunistic Justin Tiller finished with four goals for the winners as well.
For Orroroo, Darren Hughes stood up all game and was their leading performer while Dylan Foulis and Tom Reid were stoic across the contest as well the Bowman siblings, Luke and Mack.
Orroroo’s Jake Foulis and Luke Bowman finished with two goals each.
Rian Crane - Broughton Mundoora coach:
“They got out to an early lead and kick four in the first quarter and had control of the footy.
“Our skills improve and pressure lifted in the second and third quarter.
“We really fought back in the second quarter and that's where we set up our win.
“Tommy Wheelan at centre half back was good on Luke Ellery.
“Our captain Tommy Button and Maddy Hayes was consistent all day.
“Our back line produced another strong effort as well.
“Jared O'Donoghue was good around the contest especially early and you couldn't question the work rate of Kane Bowley across half-forward.
In the B grade contest Southern Flinders earned the right to face-off against Crystal Brook in the 2017 grand final after beating Jamestown Peterborough by a two-goal margin.
In a low scoring and defensive affair both sides kick one goal in the first term then Southern Flinders eked out to a seven point lead at half-time, before setting up the victory with 3.1 to one goal in the third term.
While both sides kicked a goal each in the final term the Tigers hung on to win by 12 points.
The final result was Southern Flinders 6.4 (40) defeating Jamestown Peterborough 4.4 (28).
The Southern Flinders experienced footballers came to the fore in this contest.
Both long time A grader Darryl Boylan and the mercurial Brett Ballantyne – who won the B grade best and fairest for NAFA - were excellent.
Andrew Henderson, and Michael Gaunt played pivotal roles, while Dylan Hansen and Scott Combe both were conspicuous.
In a game where goals were critical, Gaunt finished with two while Combe, Henderson, exciting young talent Riley Hennessy and Brett Cunningham each kicked one.
Henry Redden was Jamestown Peterborough’s best, followed by Jamie Clapp and Luke Casey while Daniel Clark, veteran Bernie Kelly and Shaun King had their moments.
The Magpies had four individual goal kickers. They were Zac Fielding, Clark, and Ricky Seal.
In this game Broughton Mundoora came from behind at half time to defeat Jamestown-Peterborough by seven points in a highly entertaining and tight affair.
The Eagles three-goal third quarter was a critical component in the victory and gave them a handy nine point lead at lemons.
The last quarter was a full of desperation with both teams kicking one goal.
Broughton Mundoora will face-off against BMW Lions in the grand final.
The final score of the NAFA senior colt preliminary final was a more accurate Broughton Mundoora 7.3 (45) defeating Jamestown Peterborough 5.8 (38), despite having three less scoring shots.
Leading the way for Broughton Mundoora was the talented Nash MacFarlane who was well supported by Brodie Caden, Damien Rhodes and Blake Burt.
Both Baileigh Lethbridge and Brodie Daddow deserved a nod for their performances as well.
Lucas Johnson and Sebastian Walsh kicked two goals each for the Eagles.
Runner up to the senior colts medal, Joshua Weatherley was Jamestown Peterborough’s best player.
Jesse Larcombe, Nathan Sparks and Aidan Lawler worked hard all game and both Aryn Klingner and Jacob Sparks had some impact.
Ryan Clark and Jesse Larcombe were the multiple goal kickers for Jamestown Peterborough.
It was all one-way traffic in the preliminary final with Crystal Brook dominating from the outset.
While inaccurate early - kicking 2.5 in the first quarter – they were defensively strong.
A potent third quarter, where they kicked six majors and kept the Eagles scoreless, ensured a strong victory.
The Eagles were only able have an impact on the scoreboard in the second term and went down by a large 12-goal margin, Crystal Brook 14.13 (97) to Broughton Mundoora 2.3 (15).
For Crystal Brook, Hugh Jackson was outstanding and added to his work with a three-goal effort.
Andrew Horace and Josh Clements with five goals each had a significant impact on ensuring the The Brooks are playing on grand final day.
Xavier Simpson-Dunn and Nick Wilsdon were important contributors as well and Max Crouch chimed in with two majors. The quartet of Samuel Merkel, Hugh Marshall, Beau Allen and Morrie Coates all scored goals for the Roosters.
For the Broughton Mundoora side, Bodhi Sims and Jake Burckett led the way against nearly insurmountable odds.
Fergus Tod and Bade Freer were workmanlike, while Josh Davey and Rory Kerley battled manfully.
Sims and Freer were the Eagles two goal kickers.
– PETER ARGENT