AFLC: Elimination finals kick off in thrilling style
AUSSIE RULES: Another warm day with little breeze set the perfect conditions for the AFLC Frenchville Sports Club Premiership Elimination Finals day.
The day was set up perfectly with some great action throughout the Youth matches earlier in the day and the crowd wasn't disappointed when it came to the Senior action.
BITS have had a slight edge over the Kangaroos throughout the home and away season but both teams knew they would have to be at their best as finals can always throw out a few surprises, especially when it is sudden death.
BITS got off to a great start when forward, Tyson McMahon, kicked the opening goal of the match, having kicked two bags of goals previously in the season against the Roos the opposition knew early they would have to shut him down.
The Roos worked their way into the match and managed to tighten things up around the ground and stop the Saints run.
The tight contest turned into some forward pressure for the Roos and Luke Rumpf started to assert his dominance up forward converting on the scoreboard as they snuck out to a 14-point lead at the first change.
The Saints were providing the opportunities up forward but were wasteful in front of goal not being able to convert their opportunities into majors.
Brothers on the other hand were taking full advantage of their opportunities as Scott Smithwick used his body to great effect and Connor West was providing great run from the backline to be an option up front.
There was still nothing in the game at the main break where Brothers had marginally increased their lead to 16 points. The third term, 'The Premiership Quarter' saw the game lift to a whole new level and tempers flared as the pressure of the match started to really heat up.
For the first time in the match the game opened up a bit and whilst the Saints started to make the most of their opportunities, kicking seven goals in the quarter, the Roos started to find some strike power up front kicking six of their own as Thomas Humphries started to get plenty of the footy.
BITS had reduced the margin to just 10 points at the final change and the game was there for the taking by either side.
Brothers big men Jamie Searle and Jay Humphries were working tirelessly all over the ground and were supported well at ground level by Xavier Frost but neither side could take any ascendency in a nail-biting last term.
It took almost 17 minutes into the final term for either side to hit the scoreboard and when BITS Saints Tom Grangier kicked truly the margin was back to five points, as both teams faced a tense final few minutes.
The Saints continued to pepper the Roos' backline but guided by the experienced Matthew Jones the Roos were able to hold off a hard finishing Saints team to win by three points and keep their finals dreams alive.
The action was just as tense in the Women's match where, as expected, the battle was through the middle of the ground with limited scoring opportunities for either side.
It wasn't until the second term, kicking with a slight breeze, that Kate Pollock was able to run on to a deep forward entry and kick the first goal of the match for the Roos.
BITS midfield of Sophie Ure, Madison Hogan and Kaila Kirkwood were causing plenty of headaches for the Kangaroos, but the likes of Sara-Jane O'Grady, Katelyn Lynch and Lelani Nelson worked tirelessly to stop any forward movements and when the Roos registered their second goal for the quarter they took a 14 point lead into the main break.
The Roos knew that the Saints would come out strong and they did just that and when they finally hit the scoreboard, and kept the Roos scoreless for the quarter, the margin was reduced to seven points and the scene was set for a cracking last quarter of football.
The Saints came out in the final term ready to play and hit the scoreboard early and it was a case of Deja Vu for the Roos that saw the Saints snatch a victory in the dying stages of the match when the two teams met for the first time earlier in the year.
Maddison Barnicoat and Taniele Ward showed the never die attitude this team has become known for and when skipper Chelsea Carroll, who had been outstanding all day, stood up and kicked a long captains goal late in the game the Roos had snuck to the lead on the scoreboard once again.
A late goal to Jemma Abbott sealed the deal as the Kangaroos joined their Senior Men counterparts in advancing to the Preliminary Final.
All action in the AFLC Frenchville Sports Club Premiership heads to Yeppoon this weekend where the Swans will host the Semi Final when the winners will gain direct entry to Grand Final Day whilst the losers will get a second chance to keep their Premiership dreams alive on Preliminary Final Day.