KILCUNDA-Bass coach Dean Alger is well acquainted with his football history. After his side waltzed away with an impressive Second Semi Final victory last Saturday over Dalyston he was quick to point out in the inner sanctum afterwards that his players now had the chance to take the club where few had been able to go before. “With today’s victory you have given yourselves the chance to win three premierships in-a-row for this club, something that has not been done very often in the Alberton league. “You’ve got the opportunity to do something very special.”
It’s true. In the modern era only two clubs have achieved the feat, Fish Creek in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and Welshpool in 1969, 70 and 71. If Killy-Bass ever got the chance to make it four in-a-row, they’d be in completely unchartered waters but that’s getting a little bit ahead of ourselves. But such was their dominance over Dalyston last weekend, in superb conditions at Cowes, that the three-peat is a distinct possibility. Dalyston simply had no answer to the two-pronged attack which established itself on the Killy-Bass forward line in the form of Kael Bergles and Jason Wells. They worked sensationally in tandem, dropping back deep and making incisive leads forward to have their opponents all at sea and when Tim Smith chimed in with some great clunks in the middle of some forward packs, the Magpie players and brainstrust simply didn’t know where to look to staunch the bleeding.
For Dalyston Jennings, Carew, Brosnan and McKenna started in the centre opposed to Law, Jared Attenborough, Endres and Fitzgerald for the Panthers but the Killy-Bass on-ballers were soon on top. It looked ominous for the Pies when Jason Wells charged out and took a great mark on the lead and while his shot fell short, a great passage of play followed with Jess Attenborough passing to mobile big man Ben Law and on to the leading Bergles who marked and made no mistake with the day’s first goal and his 110th for the season Coach Paul Brosnan was trying to spark his team into action with some of his long bombs and with Ross, Kraska, Dunlop, Carew and Brooker getting their hands on the ball it was a reasonably even opening to the match. Dunlop to Kraska for a goal was reward for effort but Bergles answered straight away. It was goal-for-goal when Donohue responded but Killy-Bass was starting to dominate proceedings as their two-pronged attack of Wells and Bergles kicked into gear.
Endres’ disposal was a pleasure to watch, Tim Smith was proving to be a handful too on the forward line and a burst of three goals by Killy-Bass to end the term allowed them to put their stamp on the game – Jason Wells marking strongly for the first of these, Bergles snaping for a point soon after, then Wells again followed by Tim Smith who benefitted by a 50 metre penalty to Ben Arnold. At the first change Killy-Bass were in charge and Dalyston coach Brosnan was left pleading to his players to “get the concrete out of your legs” and do something.
That’s exactly how it looked with well-credentialed players like James Ross unable to get anywhere near it, although Kraska, Scott Sibly in defence and Brad Fisher around the ground were contributors. But it was at the start of the second quarter that a rampant Panthers’ outfit smashed the contest. Bergles snapped the first within seconds of the restart and was full of beans as he roughed up Adam Miller. Not content to stay back, Bergles also got into the action up on the flank where he passed to Tim Smith and on to Wells for another goal. By the time Wells kicked his next and Tim Smith chimed in with another, five and a half minutes had ticked down on the bright Cowes’ scoreboard and the match was all but over.
And they weren’t just doing the flashy things up forward as a great tackle by Kele Asa Leausa testified. And it was their defensive abilities that were to come to the fore as a proud Dalyston side came back at them in the third quarter. The other problem for Dalyston at the five minute mark of the second quarter was the head injury to their inspirational leader Paul Brosnan who left the field unable to take any further part in the game. The club fears it may be an injury that will keep him out for several weeks. The Pies pulled two back through Brad Fisher on the end of some great work by Michael Kraska, McKenna and co but a long bomb from 55 metres by Bergles ended the revival and when they went to the half time break seven goals up, they’d already booked their place in the grand final for another year. There was more to play for in the second half and Dalyston lifted the tempo enough to indicate they’re still a chance next week but Killy-Bass installed themselves as the hottest of favourites and who knows, maybe four in-a-row is within their grasp.