WYNYARD tuned up for the finals in the best possible fashion, recording a 99-point win over East Devonport at Girdlestone Park on Saturday.
While the scoreboard was one- sided, it did not reflect the competitiveness of the match, with East Devonport winning its share of possession throughout, and taking it right up to the Cats in the first and third quarters.
However, it dropped off in the second and fourth, and the visitors piled on 14 goals in this period to run away with the game.
Wynyard’s three key forwards stretched the East Devonport defence, with Gregg Sharman (10 goals), Cameron Betts (four goals), and Stuart Turner (four goals) given plenty of space to operate.
Matthew Stephenson and Sam Douglas had a good old-fashioned ruck duel, with the pair contesting at the centre bounces and then going in opposite directions to float across their respective half-back lines.
Both were among their team’s better players, taking some wonderful contested marks and bringing their teammates into the game.
Wynyard had winners on every line, with defenders Hamish Shaw, Caleb Alford, Daniel Franks and Jorden Englund regularly turning defence into attack.
Zac Smith, Mikki Linnane and Kallum Kubicki used their pace to chase and tackle, as well as set up scoring opportunities.
For the Swans, Daniel Freshney played his usual utility role, gaining possessions all over the field in an attempt to lift his team. Another shining light was centre half-back Stewart Carter, who had a great one-on-one battle with Turner, and has been a real find for East Devonport this year.
WYNYARD 4.2 11.4 14.8 21.10 (136) dEAST DEVONPORT 2.1 3.1 4.5 5.7 (37)
TACKLE TO WIN: Wynyard coach Tom Robinson was ecstatic with his team’s defensive efforts in the first quarter. The Cats laid 21 tackles in this period, and created a number of turnovers. In a good dress rehearsal for the finals, Wynyard was able to maintain this defensive intensity for all four quarters.
TURNING THINGS UPSIDE DOWN: Thanking his defenders for their strong efforts all season, outgoing East Devonport coach Brett McCall played them in the forward line in the last quarter, while sending his regular forwards into defence. Glenn Spencer marked and goaled halfway through the final stanza, bringing a raucous cheer from his teammates and the home crowd.
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