Contributed by: Michael Christiansen
The following press release provided by SIAFL.
Solomon Islands AFL hosted the 2014 Grand Final on Thursday between the White River Demons and the Central Coast Eagles. The stage was set for an exciting game of football between these two powerhouse clubs. Both teams have dominated the 2014 home and away season and were close games in their previous encounters.27/06/2014
The game got underway and it was an even battle. Both teams struggled to get clean possession in their attacking half. For the first seven minutes, the ball remained in the centre of the ground with both teams turning it over. The high stakes match added extra pressure and players were making uncharacteristic mistakes. White River broke the drought when Dylan snapped a goal after a boundary throw-in in the Demons forward pocket. Demons continued to put the ball forward while Eagles struggled to impact on the score board. The second goal came when Puia stepped an Eagles defender and kicked truly from 40m out. First quarter results, Demons 2. 3. 15 and Eagles 0. 1. 1.
Second quarter and the game was opening up. Eagles converted their first major and were moving the ball much better. Demons had plenty of the ball forward but wayward kicking opened the door for the Eagles. Central were able to kick two more goals during the second quarter. Spectators watched in awe as Johnny Mafane took a contester for ‘mark of the year’. Poor kicking in front of goals from the Demons meant the Eagles would close the gap. Demons held onto a one goal lead going into half-time. Demons 3. 8. 26 and Eagles 3. 2. 20
What is also known as the ‘Premiership Quarter’ proved to be the defining one of the match. After the half time break the Demons lost momentum and the Eagles took full advantage. They also received several 25m penalties from un-disciplinary play from the Demons. It was looking like the Eagles would take the lead going into the final quarter as they dominated the play. Eagles had six scoring shots on goal but were only able to convert one major. At the other end of the ground, Demons also put away a goal and two behinds. The Eagles may have kicked themselves out of the game after squandering several opportunities. Three quarter time Demons 4. 10. 34 Eagles 4. 7. 31.
With the score line close it was still anyone’s game. Eagles were looking tired and the Demons were getting first use of the ball out of the centre. The Demons turned to their senior players in the final term who were able to get their team over the line. L. Puia, R. Mosese and F. Batts all stepped up by converting on the scoreboard and cutting off the Eagles across the midfield. F. Batts nearly brought the house down when he cleared the ball close to the boundary and snapped it through for a goal on the tightest of angles. The Eagles suffered some injuries and ran out of legs, their fitness letting them down and they were unable to score. The Demons kicked goal after goal and finished the quarter with 6. 2. 38 to secure the lead, the match and the Premiership Trophy. Final siren and White River Demons declared the SIAFLF 2014 Premiers.
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