DALYSTON have assured themselves a berth in the second semi-final and the vital double chance following a hard fought 12-point win over Fish Creek at Terrill Park. The Magpies will take on Kilcunda-Bass in week two of the finals after the win set the top-two positions of the ladder in stone. Fish Creek played a brave game against the Magpies in wet and boggy conditions, but were unable to maintain the pressure for four quarters. Fish Creek won the toss and kicked to the clubroom end and they looked to be switched on and were playing more determined footy, however it was Dalyston that goaled first to Michael Kraska from a strong mark.
Travis Manne and Rogan Jennings have had some great duels in the ruck in the past and this was going to be no different with both men giving their all. Fish Creek started to get on top through the second half of the quarter but missed opportunities before Trevor Hooker marked and goaled courtesy of a 50m penalty handing his side a three point quarter time break. Kangaroos coach Andrew Seccull, who was leading by example, put the first goal on the board in the opening minutes, followed another from Jason Law and the home side were on top with Dalyston struggling to get the ball past the centre. Tagger Chad Macri was doing very well on James Ross and Trent Price up forward for the Kangas was almost unstoppable taking some very strong contested marks and continually presenting along with Law, Hooker and Jake Staley. For Dalyston Blake Carew, Dean Wylie and Joe Sibly were prominent and battling to keep their side in the match. A rare trip into the Dalyston 50 at the 15 minute mark saw Brad Fisher pounce in a tight goal square contest. The result was a much needed goal to reduce the margin to 10 points.
Fish Creek took control straight back though and continued their attack on the goals, with Jake Staley and Law putting the Kangas 22 points up by the major change. Dalyston’s Paul Dunlop stood tall in the Magpies forward line taking a strong mark and converting his shot on goal to give the visitors the all-important first goal. Dalyston needed a spark and this seemed to provide it and they went back into attack again where Fisher marked about 50m out, his kick a goal and Dalyston were on their way back into the game. Fish Creek were not about to lie down however but missed several opportunities in front of goal, as did Dalyston who were also wayward as neither side could capitalise on their opportunities. Magpie Paddy McKenna broke the shackles after six consecutive points between the two sides, the goal bringing them within a goal of the Kangaroos.
The conditions were starting to take their toll on all players with play slowing and kicks missing the mark. At the 23 minute mark of the quarter Fish Creek coach Seccull kicked his side’s first goal of the quarter. This was answered almost immediately by Dalyston when Kraska, who was being well held by Blencowe, kicked an absolute ripper from tight on the boundary line. With time running out, Fish Creek extended their lead through Brent Cooper, who finished off a great chain of play to goal from 35m. The last quarter and Dalyston were up and about early with a goal to Blake Carew only a minute in. This was followed by Matt Howell and then another to Scott Sibly to put Dalyston in front for the first time since early in the first quarter. Carew, Joe and Scott Sibly, Dean Wylie and coach Paul Brosnan led the Magpie charge as Fish Creek tired and were unable to provide an answer. Further goals to Fisher and another to Scott Sibly pushed the margin out to three goals before Hooker grabbed one back for Fish Creek.