Demons hold off Cougars to book grand final berth

Yarram defeated Churchill in the North Gippsland second semi-final. File photo
Yarram defeated Churchill in the North Gippsland second semi-final. File photo

YARRAM withstood a final quarter fightback from Churchill to advance to the North Gippsland football grand final.

In the second semi-final at Rosedale on Saturday, the Demons led by 45 points at three-quarter-time, before the Cougars kicked seven goals to one in the final term to reduce the deficit to eight by full time.

After winning 19.10 (124) to 18.8 (116), Yarram booked its place in the grand final, while the Cougars will meet Rosedale in the preliminary final for the right to join the Demons in the premiership decider.

The Demons led by 13 points after a six-goal to four opening term. The margin was extended to 25 by half-time after the Demons added five goals to three.

Yarram appeared to have the game in its keeping after kicking seven goals to four in the third term, to lead by 45 points.

The Cougars refused to surrender, and kicked the first three goals of the fourth term before Dan Vardy kicked a steadying goal for the Demons, extending their lead to 27 points heading into time-on.

But four goals in a row gave the Cougars renewed hope, only for those hopes to be dashed by the final siren.

Dan Vardy was outstanding for the Demons, playing in the ruck and up forward, finishing with four goals. Another strong target in attack, Louis Rodaughan also booted four majors.

Jack Weston had a major influence on the contest, playing off half-back.

Griffin Underwood and Liam Bentley used the ball well through the midfield, as did Tyler Chisholm across half-forward.

Allan Chandler and Chris Williams were major contributors for the Cougars, with Blake Slater kicking three goals.

Churchill was too strong for Yarram in the reserves, winning 18.13 (121) to 4.10 (34). After trailing by two points at half-time, the Cougars added 16 goals to two in the second half to win by 87 points.

The Glengarry thirds continued their undefeated season, defeating Heyfield 18.8 (116) to 3.12 (30).

Riley Havers and Scott Donahoe performed well for the Kangaroos against an imposing opponent.

ROSEDALE kept its premiership hopes alive with a 37-point victory over Traralgon-Tyers United in the first semi-final on Sunday at Glengarry.

The Blues won 10.18 (78) to 5.11 (41). Leading by one point at quarter-time, the Blues had the chance to put their stamp on the match during the second term, but kicked one goal from nine scoring shots, to head into the main break 13 points ahead.

Rosedale made up for those misses in the third term, kicking four unanswered goals to lead by 29 points at the final change.

The Blues closed out the match with a three-goal to two final term.

In his return from injur y, Brandon McDonald kicked four goals for the Blues, while Matt Royal booted three.

Playing on the wing, Luke Stuckey was best-on-ground for the Blues, with Hayden Bell, Brad Scott, Frazar Brouns and Sam Tudor also making big contributions to the win.

Guy Sinclair and Luke Middleton stood out for the Bombers.

TTU ended Sale City's season in the reserves, winning 22.13 (145) to 7.2 (44) with Joel Poole kicking 12 goals for the Bombers.

Zach Matlock and Daniel Bird were the Bulldogs' best players.

In the thirds, Churchill defeated Sale City 9.16 (70) to 2.7 (19).

The Cougars booted the only goal of the first half, before kicking away after the main break.

Braydon Capes and Jed Malone were City's best players.

NGFNL preliminary final

Saturday at Gaskin Park, Churchill:

Seniors: Churchill v Rosedale, 2.15pm.

Reserves: Yarram v TTU, noon.

Thirds: Heyfield v Churchill, 9.45am.

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