Marong marches on to grand final after semi-final win against Bulldogs
MARONG has marched into the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s senior footy grand final after Saturday’s second semi-final win against Pyramid Hill.
First and second after the home and away series, the Panthers and Bulldogs met at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve in a clash to decide who would reach the grand final first.
It was Marong’s first hit-out in three weeks as a round 18 bye was followed by a rest on the first week of the finals courtesy of finishing on top.
Pyramid Hill made a great start to lead 21-6 at quarter-time of Saturday’s match.
Both teams had six shots on goal, but it the Bulldogs accuracy, 3.3 which won out against six behinds by the Panthers.
In the second term the Linton Jacobs-coached Marong lifted its play at centre breaks and stoppages and was also rewarded for its work as it scored 5.4.
Pyramid Hill worked hard to score two goals to be within seven points at the long break.
The Panthers did the majority of the attacking in the third term and added 2.5 to 1.2.
Marong then motored away in the final 30 minutes of the match as it slammed on 7.3 to just three points for a 102-44 victory.
League record holder on 143 goals going into the match, Brandyn Grenfell was held to just two goals.
It mattered little as the Panthers showed they have a wealth of attacking options.
A Michelsen medallist and premiership winner in his time at Eaglehawk, Kain Robins led Marong’s attack on three goals.
Other multiple goalkickers were Cory Jacobs and Adam Ward on two.
The Panthers also had Lachlan Frankel, Kyle Manley, Jack McCaig, Ryley Taylor, Richard Tibbett chip in with a goal each.
Goalkickers for Pyramid Hill were Braidy Dickens and Seb Relouw, two; Bailey George and Will Perryman, one.
Best for the Panthers were Jacob Ede, David Johnstone, Justin Hynes, Lachlan Lee, Jack McCaig and Jimmy Gadsden.
Dylan Morison, Brad Ladson, Gavin James, Ryley Dickens, Adrian Holland and Scott Mann played well for the Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Pyramid Hill which must now regroup for a preliminary final.
Marong will have all three football teams play in the September 10 grand finals at Marist College Bendigo in Maiden Gully.
Defences were well on top in the reserves second semi-final between Marong and Pyramid Hill.
The Bulldogs led 9-8 at quarter-time before it was 10-all at the main break.
Pyramid Hill scored 2.2 to 2.0 in the third term, but it was the Panthers who clawed their way to a 35-25 victory after they added 2.1 to a point in the last quarter.
David Blume kicked two goals for Marong as Rhian Hender, Adrian Pappin and Gus Reade added a major.
The Bulldogs’ attack was led by Rowan Pollock, two, and Glen James.
Best for the Panthers were Harry Baker, Matthew Willox, Gus Reade, Adrian Pappin, Josh Cooper and Aaron Collins.
Pyramid Hill’s best were Matthew Moon, Mitch Gunther, Brad Moon, Nathan Moon, Nick Skinner and Ross James.
In the under-18s second semi, Marong led 20-13 at half-time of the clash with Bridgewater.
The Panthers blitzed in the second half as they scored 6.10 to 1.2 for a 66-21 victory.
Kynan Baldwin was in hot form as he kicked four goals and Jack Collins, Isaac Gillman-Sharp, Spencer Taylor, vice-captain Kai Terrill and Mitch Worme added a major each.
Goalkickers for Bridgewater were Jack Langtree, Toby Naughton and Darcy Wood.
Marong’s best were Ben Cruise, Noah McCaig, Kynan Baldwin, Brodie Coombs, Bailey Holland and Mitch Worme.
Darcy Wood, Cooper Rooke, Jack Langtree, Terry Nitschke, Cale Woodhatch and Oscar Horan were Bridgewater’s best.
It will be a preliminary final showdown next Saturday between Bridgewater and Inglewood when the under-18s take to the Holloway Air Riverside Oval in Newbridge at 10.40am.
Written by Nathan Dole.