Eastern Eyre Football
The game never seemed to open up due to stoppages for minor discrepancies and the frustration was showing.
A handball from Daniel Girdham to Dion Woolford and a flick over the top from Burger Fitzgerald to Isaiah Nield saw Nield slot one from the pocket and the fat lady started her vocal exercises.
The sting did not look like leaving the game at three-quarter time, Kimba 12-10 to Eastern Ranges 4-7.
The last quarter began with a bit of end to end until Muscles Siviour gave away a bit of a soft free kick down field, and Bozo Larwood kicked a great goal.
Both sides looked to have slowed a fraction which came as no surprise after the frantic pace.
Several minutes went by at a bit of a slower pace then Burger Fitzgerald slotted another under very little pressure.
A passage of play from Bruce, Storic and Jess Kenny saw the last scoring shot, a behind, go to the Ranges after the siren.
It was a total dominant display of footy by Kimba Districts, who had nine debutante A grade premiership players.
Better players for Kimba were Dion Woolford, Reece Rayson, Jesse Kemp, Daniel Girdham and Burger Fitzgerald.
Better players for Ranges were Jack Kenny, Damo Hannemann and Pat Jenner.
Credit to Gadj Lienert and the Kimba side, they led from start to finish and played an exciting brand of footy.
Best on ground: Jesse Kemp
Eastern Ranges 8-7 (55) def Kimba Districts 5-8 (38)
The game was not pretty to watch but you could not fault the players’ fierce endeavour at getting the ball and making a contest.
There were a lot of body clashes, but Kimba had the cleanest hands and better use of the ball.
This was highlighted by a beautiful left foot goal from Inglis, which gave the Tigers the edge, and continued most of the game.
Gillings and Meyer were work horses early for Ranges but with Schilling and Redden controlling the back half, Kimba had the upper hand.
Ranges began the second quarter with a Butterfield goal and with Nield everywhere it looked like the reigning premiers were kicking into gear.
But things leveled out with tough play from both sides, and then three lazy frees in a row resulted in a goal and the Tigers’ aerial dominance was showing.
A goal against the run of play to Dusty Harris kept Ranges in touch.
Kimba were playing better footy but Ranges’ continued effort kept them in the game.
The second half began with a lot of frees, all deserved, because of the non-stop pressure.
The conditions did not improve, but more open play did.
Kimba were still in control of the game heading into the last quarter, but not quite comfortable.
Last quarter heroics were needed, and with the Tigers missing a half-chance at goal to put the last nail in the coffin.
It was then the Ranges midfiled, of Nield, Gillings and Hannemann, that inspired them to hit the front midway through the quarter, going on to record a hard-earned victory.
It was a win for perseverance and never-say-die attitude, and both sides should be complimented on providing a great spectacle in poor conditions.
Better players were Joel Nield, Nathan Gillings, Zac Meyer and coach Tony Gillings for the Ranges, and Scott Redden, coach Dan Schilling and Aaron Johnson for Kimba.
Eastern Ranges continued their dominance of the B grade competition, but with the passionate opposition they faced in the grand final, it was a premiership they had to earn the hard way.
Best on ground: Joel Nield
Ports 8-8 (56) def Eastern Ranges 4-8 (32)
The undefeated Ports team started as favourites, although Ranges had been getting closer at every meeting.
Ports started slowly, with Ranges having more numbers at the contest butthey were failing to capitalise.
Ports put on two goals through Llewelyn and Laas, but both teams were playing high pressure finals football.
A quick goal to Ranges’ O. Price started the second quarter before Ports lifted the pressure on Ranges’ ball carriers, resulting in goals to Hutchins, Bammann and Llewelyn.
Ranges’ Grosser was getting plenty of the ball and McCallum was troubling Ports with his speed.
In the third quarter Ranges’ H. Burton, playing a blinder off half-back and not wasting a possession, set up a goal to Tim Hannemann.
J.Turner danced through five tackles to inspire his team-mates but Ports were only able to kick four points for the quarter.
Marshall, Lawrie and Bennett were providing plenty of run and carry for Ports.
The last quarter started with a second goal to Llewelyn and Ports relaxed, which let Ranges back in the game with Taheny kicking a running goal from 50 metres.
Ports’ Laas, tackling out of his weight division, created a turnover enabling J. Turner to seal the best on ground medal with three bounces and a goal from the centre bounce.
This was closely followed by a goal to Smith.
Price kicked his second goal late in the term.
Ports ran out winners 8-8 (56) to 4-8 (32) with B. Turner’s strength and speed at full back saving many goals. R Evans worked hard all day for Ranges.
Coach Trevor McDonough thanked the Eastern Eyre clubs’ junior coaches and teams over the past years, who mixed teams up when Ports were short of players, giving all players a game and ensuring strong junior development.
Best on ground: Jake Turner
Eastern Ranges 5-6 (36) def Kimba Districts 2-0 (12)
Conditions could not get much better at Port Neill, with a slight breeze to the ocean end of the ground providing no real advantage either way, though the flags suggested otherwise.
It was a fiercely contested ball early with both sides going in hard at it, the ball spending most of the time between the Ranges’ forward 50 and the centre.
Credit to Tigers defenders Jed Venning and Jackson Yates.
It was not long before the Ranges started pressing with two quick behinds.
After good play by Ranges the first goal was kicked by Louis Schubert, after a nice mark and set shot.
The second quarter started much the same but the Ranges boys seemed to have a few more blokes who wanted it that bit more and soon they had their second against the breeze through Bailey Matters.
Then a lucky goal off the pack from the ground by one of about six players.
At half time Ranges were in the lead, 3-2 to no score.
The third started with a pristine bit of centre work by the Ranges boys and play was soon locked in their forward 50.
Archie Schubert took a great mark and had a set shot but Kimba were smart enough to put their tallest on the mark, which made it difficult.
Within a few seconds though older brother Louis marked and kicked truly to take the score along to 4-4 to a duck egg for the Tigers.
I was not sure if it was Jed Venning or Jeremy McGovern down back for Kimba but he seemed to be stemming the flow well against a barrage by the boys in blue.
The three-quarter time scores were 4-5 to 0-0.
A strong mark and a nice conversion by Angus Dunn started the final term.
It was starting to slip away from the Tigers, however their effort and intensity remained, and after a slight lapse of concentration by the Ranges lads, Joey Lienert was able to play on and hit up Mac Seal who did not let his team down with the Tigers’ first goal.
After a brilliant tackle inside forward 50 by Kai Macklin, who spotted up Seal again, the Tigers had two in a row which was soon followed by the final siren.
Better players for the Ranges were Louis Schubert, Angus Dunn, Cody Crosby, Bailey Matters and Coby Dolling.
Battlers for the Tigers were Declan Haywood, Mac Seal, Noah Ramsey, Dekota Woolford and Jackson Yates.
Congratulations to the Eastern Ranges.
They certainly play an exciting and intense version of the game which is what other sides should aspire to.
Best on ground: Angus Dunn
The B grade premiers pictured are: back:Trent Harris, Kym Leonard, Matt Hannemann, Dylan Jaggy, Grant Roberts, Matthew Beinke, Keegan Elson, Rhett Schumann, Brad Harris, Steven Roberts, Mick Evans, Troy Richardson; middle: Jonathon Noble, Tyson Kirvan, Pete Farrelly, Tony Evans, Ashley Butterfield, Ree Martin, Brady Norris, Paul Jenner, Mark Hannemann; front: Zac Meyer, Nathan Smith, Jack Weiss, Dustin Harris, Joe Phelan, Joel Nield and Nathan Gillings.
For more photos from the grand final head to www.eyretribune.com.au.