THE Phillip Island thirds will take on Inverloch-Kongwak in this weekend’s grand final after handing the Bunyip Bulldogs a 26-point lesson at Koo Wee Rup.
Despite only leading by one point at half time in the preliminary final, the Islanders’ one-sided dominance in the last term secured them a spot in the grand final.
And if they can replicate that dominance across all four quarters on Saturday, they might just snag the win from the Sea Eagles.
Phillip Island’s Finlay Cousins and Blake Christopher set the tone at the start as the Islanders kept Bunyip goalless to lead by 21 points at the first break.
But Bunyip returned to the field with a renewed sense of determination, taking control and immediately gunning for a goal off the boot of Liam Murphy. They had secured their first goal within just 30 seconds of the second quarter – kicking with the wind.
Bunyip kept fighting, with Murphy scoring another major on the run.
It wasn’t until ten minutes in that the Islanders had an opportunity, but couldn’t convert under strong pressure from Bunyip.
Bunyip responded accordingly, adding another to the scoreboard.
And they would’ve been in front at half time had a shot at goal within the last few seconds not have missed.
Bunyip were trailing by just one point at the change of ends.
Into the third term and the two teams were 30 apiece soon enough until the Island’s Marvin Sellars made his presence felt on the scoreboard with a beautiful kick through the big sticks.
And then they were off.
Max Newman added another up the hill and Noah Bee-Hickman too.
Ahead by just 13 points at the final break, the Islanders knew it wouldn’t be enough just to defend. They had to make an impact to make their finals’ dreams come true.
Their spirits were slightly deflated after Bunyip booted the first goal of the term.
They let ‘em have it and in return kicked three goals in quick succession in an impressive show of dominance.
The entire forward line worked well, always keeping close to the contest.
Their smart game plan saw them keep Bunyip to their one goal while they boosted the scoreboard to take home the win by 26 points.
The Islanders will take on Inverloch-Kongwak at Garfield this Saturday, hoping to overturn the result of the second semi-final result and secure back-to-back premierships.