The RPP FM Match of the Day for the Nepean Football Netball League, proudly brought to you by the Mornington and Rosebud Telstra Shops, saw the minor Premiers; the Crib Point Magpies take on the Rye Demons in the Preliminary Final at Hastings’ Thomas Barclay Oval.
The minor premiers had been tentative in their first up finals performance against the Sorrento Sharks and were keen to display the brand of football which had seen them lose just the three games for the home and away season. The Demons, in contrast, were chock full of confidence having knocked both Red Hill and Dromana out of the finals race and defying a widespread view that they would simply be making up the numbers.
Of pre-game significance, young Demon, Matt Wylie was perhaps unlucky to be left out of his sides’ starting line-up, replaced by Braeden Dennis whilst Crib Point had made two changes of its own with Jacob Cook and Dan Wise omitted and Sam Austin and Kyle Arnott coming in to the Magpie side.
Perhaps of greater significance, three BBQ tents at different points of the Hastings oval ensured that our very own Michael Voss journeyed to all parts of the packed perimeter pre match in scenes reminiscent of Moses’ parting of the Red Sea. Upon his return, an ever grateful RPP FM crew were breathlessly informed that the egg and bacon rolls at each tent were uniformly delicious. ‘Alas, there are no more in case you blokes were after one’ exclaimed the clearly disappointed voice of the Peninsula.
In keeping with the final series, brilliant sunshine greeted the large throng who had already witnessed Devon Meadows overcome Dromana in the Reserves, 54 to 92. A late shift of location from a Somerville ground deemed unsuitable for play to the Thomas Barclay Oval had certainly not impacted crowd numbers, enhanced no doubt by the prospect of also witnessing some brilliant netball grand finals. And with Rye winning the toss and kicking with the aid of a two goal breeze, the scene was set for an epic showcase of country football.
A nervous opening saw Magpie, Jack Johnson with the first real opportunity of the game, juggling a chest mark but subsequently missing the ‘gimme’ from 15 metres out directly in front. Teammate Glenn Boyd also botched an easy chance from slightly further out, missing right also. It was Brad Davidson taking his chances following a contested mark, registering Crib Points’ first major with Jonathon Flack wheeling on to his left to register a second soon after. Flack found Boyd on the lead for another shot at goal but the big man burnt the offering. It came as no surprise that Rye would take advantage of their opponent’s wastefulness with Luke Semmel putting their first on the board with an over the shoulder snap from deep in the left pocket.
Brady Egan registered a point for Rye, spraying a shot across the face but captain/coach Ben Holmes marked at true CHF to split the middle to make it a two point game. Ryan Semmels’ running shot missed its’ mark but when Holmes marked three deep, Rye had hit the front late in the quarter. Luke Semmel drilled a pass from the centre clearance on to the chest of Ben Winters-Kerr but the subsequent shot drifted well left and Aaron ‘Fingers’ Findlay also missed from 45. Ryan ‘The Recruit’ Semmel swooped on a loose ball from beyond 50 to make it a two goal game and brother Luke outmuscled an opponent close in to pierce the major uprights. Crib Point big man rolled an ankle and was helped off by trainers but Boyd finally found his radar from 35 to reduce the margin. At the first break on the Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard, Crib Point 3. 3 (21) trailed Rye 5. 4 (34).
Second quarter action saw the Demons with the first foray forward, resulting in a rushed behind. Luke Semmel missed from 45 and Luke Herrington’s boundary banana also missed for the Pies. Davidson pegged one back for the Pies courtesy of a sharp snap and quick lead up work opened up the goals for fellow forward, Waide Symes who duly saluted. A Shayne Ainsworth behind made it the tightest of margins and Beau Monty’s misdirected attempt had it all tied up. Paul Smith was the beneficiary of a Rye turnover but mongrelled his attempt and Flack conjured something out of nothing from close to the boundary to make it a seven point game. Findlay marked and moved quickly to answer from 40 and Holmes accepted The Recruits bullet like pass to restore the Rye lead. In keeping with the trend, Flack tripped the light fantastically to put Crib Point in front once more and at half time, Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard Crib Point 7. 8 (50) led Rye 7. 7 (49).
Rye levelled up with a rushed behind to start the third and Holmes gave the Demons’ a one goal buffer when he marked on the right pocket boundary and threaded the eye of the needle. When Findlay was pushed out of the marking contest minutes later and found the target, the Demons were out by two. Jake Semmel wheeled on to his right to push the margin out to 17 points. Davidson’s set shot was always skinny for the Pies with Egan missing at the other end. Andrew Dean marked uncontested to extend the margin to four goals and the Pies were looking at bowing out of the finals race in straight sets. Flack was working tirelessly for Cribby but they were struggling to pierce the Demon defence. Winters-Kerr was infringed upon at 45 but failed to put the Pies in more trouble and Brad Arnold spun on a dime to close the margin. Boyd could have closed it further but failed to and the ball was rebounded to Luke Semmel who made the most of a late chance. At the final change, Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard Crib Point 8 .12 (60) trailed Rye 13. 10 (89).
RPP FM’s voice of football, Michael ‘Golden Tonsils’ Voss and Scott Beel brought us home with all the last quarter action with Crib Point searching for a way to get back into the contest. Arnold stuck a tackle close in and missed his shot left but the brilliant Flack kept his feet as those about him lost theirs to start the ball rolling. Boyd had been moved to CHF and rewarded the coach’s decision to add another and reduce the margin to three straight kicks. He soon had another, weaving through traffic for the reviving minor premiers. Dean’s snap from the boundary pushed the margin out again and he also should have had another but misfired badly. Flack marked over the top of his Rye opponent and played on for his fifth but when Holmes was awarded a free and 50 courtesy of Crib Point indiscipline the margin was once more almost three goals. Herrington cut the margin, goaling from a standing start and when Sam Austin did the same we had a four point ball game with less than four minutes to go. Davidson put the Pies in front with a remarkable snap with less than a minute to go and Egan perhaps unwisely decided to shoot beyond his limitations when teammates were free. Crib Point had resurrected its Premiership tilt in the most dramatic fashion.
After the match a delighted but relieved Crib Point coach, Duane Annable was full of praise for side’s ability to persevere when clearly up against it and similarly delighted that his team had reached the biggest of stages. For Ben Holme’s men, it was a case of what could have been.
Vivacious and talented Rye netballer Jess Hoskin was kindly on hand to present the Orbit Fitness Mount Martha, Player of the Match trophy to Jonathon Flack for his starring four quarter effort.
Final scores on the Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard:
Crib Point 15. 15 (105)
Rye 15. 14 (104)
RPP FM footy commentators will bring live coverage of the two big matches next week.
Nepean Football Netball League GRAND FINAL
Saturday, 20 September CRIB POINT v SORRENTO (Hastings) at 2pm
Peninsula Football Netball League GRAND FINAL
Sunday, 21 September – MORNINGTON v Frankston YCW (Frankston VFL Park) at 2pm
Thank you to our RPP FM Match of the Day sponsors:
Mornington & Rosebud Telstra Shops – RPP FM Match of the Day
Bendigo Community Bank – Scoreboard
Orbit Fitness Mount Martha – RPP FM Best on Ground
RPP FM – IS THE VOICE OF PENINSULA GRAND FINALS
98.7FM & 98.3FM Frankston
Words Darren Sainsbery http://email@example.com 0432 742 406
Photographer Rab Siddhi
Pictured: Trying all the tricks in the book is Rye player holding back Crib Point player to get ahead of the game.
Rye netballer Jess Hoskin presented the Orbit Fitness Mount Martha, RPP FM Player of the Match trophy to Jonathon Flack for his starring four quarter performance.