The Blackwood Football Club has won its first Senior Colt premiership since 2013 with an eight point victory over the Hahndorf Football Club. The win capped off an outstanding comeback for the Woods with the side finding themselves down by as much as 5 goals throughout the match. With give a summary of the match below.
Like the A Grade, Blackwood and Hahndorf were the dominate sides in the competition across 2017. They had met on three previous occasions throughout the 2017 season with Blackwood failing to score a victory. In Round 8, the Woods went down by 17 points after only trailing by the solitary behind at 3 quarter time whilst in Round 17 the side suffered their worst loss of the season, going down by 74 points in the Courier Cup final. In the most recent battle, the second semi-final at Uraidla only two weeks ago the Woods almost snatched a win after coming back from four goals down at three quarter time to lose by eight points at the final siren. As a result of the semi-final the Woods went into the game confident they could can an upset over the Magpies.
Hahndorf had the first win of the day, winning the toss and kicking with the aid of the breeze which was blowing towards the scoreboard end of the venue. Making the early play Hahndorf kicked three opening quarter majors to one for the Woods. The goal came off the boot of Ryan Williams who used his leg speed to break away from his opponent and convert truly on the run. When the quarter time siren blew, Blackwood trailed 1.1.7 to 3.1.19.
Coach Matt Thomas remained calm and confident during the break. He stated “we have made a good start against the breeze. We must now play our game using our good foot skills and we’ll work our way back on the scoreboard.” The second quarter started much like the first with Hahndorf able to control possession of the ball in the opening minutes. When Blackwood was able to move the ball forward they failed to capitalise only kicking behinds. The Blackwood coaching panel decided to make a change and move star player Levi Grigg one out in the forward line. Grigg had returned down from the A Grade for his match and loomed as the match winner when he moved forward. The move paid some success when Grigg scored the second major for the Woods after a nice mark and set shot. When the half time siren sounded, Blackwood trailed by 20 points, 2.7.19 to 5.3.33.
The match entered the most critical period during the third quarter. Blackwood made several structural changes during the half time break, most notably moving Caleb Smith to play as a loose defender to halt the attacking movements of the Magpies. This move seemed to not work in the opening faze of the quarter as Hahndorf continued to push forward. The Woods really had their backs to the wall trailing 2.7.19 to 6.3.39 at the half way point of the term. With their backs to the wall Deqlhan Files entered the game. Having moved down the hill from Ironbank during the pre-season, Files has shown in class in patches across the season. Files kicked two goals in the second half the quarter, and a second major to Grigg saw the Woods close to within nine points at the final break.
The final huddle of the season was a confident place for the Woods. Matt Thomas brought a simple message to the group, “we have them for fitness, continue to take the game on and we’ll come away with the victory.” The group left the huddle a confident bunch buoyed by their last quarter performance in the semi-final only two weekends ago. Tom Brown entered the match in the early phase kicking the first goal of the quarter with a nice snap shot. Lead by back-to-back mail medallist, Liam McCarthy and start player Luke Bogle, the Woods were getting on top in the midfield. Surging the ball forward they put the Magpies defence under the pump. Some minor scores kept made the crowd restless until Bogle managed to find the ball in a contest and snap a goal from 40 metres out. The Woods matched into the lead with just over 5 minutes remaining. The wind was making it hard for Hahndorf and the press of Blackwood trapped the ball inside their forward 50.
With three minutes remaining, Hahndorf moved the ball down the outer wing. Kicking the ball into the pocket, the ball was brought forward and crumbed by the Magpies. Despite a valiant effort in the goal square the Magpies score their eight goal of the match to draw the margin back to two points with two minutes remaining. The crowd was on edge as Hahndorf won the next centre clearance kicking the ball to about 40 metres out. Loose man Caleb Smith then asserted himself on the game floating across the contest taking the crucial intercepting mark. Blackwood moved the down defensively down the wing one last time managed to find Deqlhan Files who kicked his third major and sealed the epic eight point victory. Scenes of jubilation filled the ground when the siren sounded with Blackwood players and supporters gathering in the centre of the oval to celebrate.
The best on ground was awarded to start player Luke Bogle who had a dominate game in the midfield gaining numerous clearances and kicking a vital goal in the last quarter. Other players to be acknowledged were half back Ethan Dinning who providing run and grunt all game, Levi Grigg who showed his class often taking on two opponents up forward, Deqlhan Files who booted three majors to be the leading goal scorer on the ground and Caleb Smith who controlled the back line in the second half.
The win capped off an outstanding comeback for the Woods in a game that was well worth the admission price. Both Blackwood and Hahndorf showed why they were the best sides in the competition throughout 2017 and if the group can stick together, the club is in a strong place in the years to come.