MT ELIZA ended a frustrating season with an embarrassing 85-point thumping at the hands of Pines in the Peninsula Division Elimination Final at Chelsea on Saturday, 15.5 (105) to 2.8 (20).
The Redlegs, who have copped an enormous amount of season-ending injuries to key players this season, including full back Jay Neratzoglou and full forward Justin Van Unen, were restricted to just two goals for the afternoon against a disciplined, well-structured and hungry Pines outfit.
After a couple of tight one-goal results through the home and away season, Mt Eliza was not even competitive against the Pythons.
The 85-point drubbing was a mammoth 170-point turnaround from the Preliminary Final last season when the Redlegs charged into the grand final against Frankston YCW.
Mt Eliza coach Troy Shannon said before the game that he believed he was presenting his best available team on the park for the do-or-die final.
“We’ve been able to get some games into some players who were a little underdone previously but of the players we have available, this will be the best side we can produce,” Shannon said.
Two players have given grief to Pines in the past, Dan Gormley and Rohan Heasley.
Pines’ key stopper Corey Ash did the job on Heasley and Aaron Ludewig went to Gormley. Both Mt Eliza prime movers were ineffective.
Mt Eliza kicked its first goal at the 14-minute mark of the first quarter through Aaron Dunne and Shaun Knott booted their second at the 2-minute mark of the second quarter. Mt Eliza did not kick a goal in the second half.
In the first quarter, Pines had 15 to four inside 50-metre entries and had 15 to eight in the second quarter kicking against the wind. For the game, the inside 50m count was 56 to 21 – a demolition.
The Pythons also had 20-plus more clearances and ball-ups and stoppages.
Mt Eliza tried to tag the dangerous Luke Potts with Brenton Lambert but the Pines’ star was able to break the shackles midway through the second half and become an influential player.
Shane Tennant was clearly the Redlegs’ best – his courage on a number of occasions was first class.
After the game, a proud coach Pat Swayne said, “we played well”.
“We got our match-ups right and our plans were well executed most of the time,” Swayne said.
“Our tackle pressure was great and our efforts around the footy was also very pleasing,” Swayne said.
Pines will play its second final and third match at Chelsea in a month this Saturday in the First Semi Final.
“Chelsea’s become our second home, which isn’t a bad thing at this time of the year,” Swayne joked.
There was no joking matter for Pines in the Reserves, who lost its final to Frankston YCW in controversial circumstances.
With two minutes remaining in the match, YCW forward Michael Chaplin received a late bump that saw him knocked out. He kicked the goal as he was being bumped. YCW then got a secondary shot on goal which put them in front and saw them ultimately win.
Edithvale-Aspendale will play Frankston YCW in the second semi-final this week after beating Bonbeach convincing at Frankston Park on Sunday.
The Eagles had contributors all over the ground with nine individual goal kickers, winning 12.8 (80) to 6.7 (43).
Chris Wylie was the best player on the ground.
It was Edithvale’s pressure around the football and strong work at stoppages that saw them get the job done against the Sharks.
Bonbeach will now play Pines in a do-or-die First Semi Final.
Second Semi Final at Frankston Park on Sunday
Seniors: Frankston YCW v Edithvale
Reserves: Mt Eliza v Seaford
Under 19s: Mt Eliza v Frankston YCW
First Semi Final at Chelsea on Saturday
Seniors: Bonbeach v Pines
Reserves: v Frankston YCW
Under 19’s: v Edithvale-Aspendale