KORUMBURRA-Bena is just one win away from a grand final berth after overcoming Fish Creek with a dominant performance during Sunday’s semi-final at Toora. KB pulled away from Fish Creek in a powerful final quarter which will have the Bulldog faithful salivating at the possibilities against a decimated Dalyston. Bulldog coach Peter Helms spoke of the magnitude of the win following the game, telling his players they are building for a grand final appearance.
Fish Creek skipper Trevor Hooker won the toss and kicked with the wind advantage blowing down to the netball end of the ground. In a fierce opening to the match, KB was on the scoreboard first through a goal from Mick Urie at the five minute mark. From then on however, the Kangaroos took control of the game with goals to Jason Law, Greg Hoskin and Hooker. The Kangas were sticking to the winning formula of last week by bombing it into the forward 50 for little success, but when they lowered their eyes Sam Sperling was able to boot two goals from 50m to hand his side a four-goal quarter time advantage. Chad Macri started well for Fishy along with Jason Rouda who was prominent early. FC coach Andrew Seccull urged his players to defend with their life, but KB’s Ben Fitzpatrick gave his side all the momentum with an early goal courtesy of a free kick from Seccull in the goal square. From the restart, a big tap from dominant ruckman Mark Bradley then saw Fitzpatrick gather the ball, run inside 50 and kick a beautiful goal from 45m. The Bulldogs claimed the lead at the 10 minute mark with goals to Justin Smith, Michael Cooke and Chris Redl as the Kangaroos started to falter.
Jay Neagle was outstanding across half back with Ashley Snooks, while Cooke was presenting tirelessly up forward, playing a part in a lot of KB’s scoring passages. Against the flow of play, FC levelled the score through Jason Rouda, only for Redl to kick his second and reclaim the Bulldog lead after the siren. The wind which had been a factor all day, died a touch in the second half but remained a factor. The Bulldogs looked confident after Redl’s third goal early in the third term, only for Adrian Seccull to reply shortly after as both sides traded blows. Macri saved a certain goal when he chased down the KB’s goal-bound Chris Paterson, with the ball rebounding to the FC forward half where Andrew Seccull kicked a long goal to spark his team.
Lachie Park, Hoskin and Brent Cooper were having an impact for the Creekers as they looked to extend their lead further midway through the term. But it was Fitzpatrick again who hit back for the Bulldogs, followed by Mick Urie, to have them leading by two goals before Macri snuck a goal to keep Fish Creek in the game on the three quarter time siren. The last quarter quickly turned into a memorable one for the Bulldogs with Fitzpatrick booting yet another goal, followed by Chris Paterson and Redl to have the game all but sealed at the 13 minute mark. With KB having arguably eight of the best 10 players on the ground, they slammed on another four goals to put an exclamation point on the win with Fishy only able to manage the one behind in a disappointing end to their season.