Goodwood Saints (3.3, 6.6, 7.10, 11.13) 79 V Henley (1.4, 4.5, 7.7, 8.12) 60
Burton, Wakelin, Reidy, McAllister, Dempsey.
Demasi 2, Burton 2, Illman, Pinto, McAllister, Kerber, Pohlner, Reidy, Bartel.
Saturday September 19th 2009 saw the Goodwood Saints Football Club win its fifth consecutive SAAFL Division 1 premiership with a hard fought 19 point victory over Henley at Thebarton Oval. The lead up to the game was difficult with four changes to the side that defeated Henley in the second semi final. Eric Kells, Malcolm Pohlner, Adrian Burton and Simon Brooks returned with Mitch Eleftheriou, Jordan Turner, Ben Johnston and stalwart Josh Starling the unlucky players to miss.
As had become a habit over recent games, Captain David Bartel lost the toss and the Saints kicked into a 2 goal breeze in the first quarter. With finals experience on our side the game started well and we controlled the early part of the contest through midfielders Burton, Luke Donaldson and Bartel. After an early minor score, Burton found Kells on the lead and whilst his kick for goal fell short Bartel roved the pack well for the Saints first major. Moments later, Mark Demasi, received a free kick for a high tackle and converted for the Saints second major.
Demasi then set up Brenton Reidy for our third goal at the 10 minute mark of the opening term and the Saints were off to a promising start. The lead could have been greater had it not been for 2 further shots from Donaldson and Murray Hamblin that hit the post. Late in the quarter Henley scored a cheap goal on the rebound but the Saints still held a handy 11 point buffer at the first change.
The defence led by evergreen Charlie Thomas, Jake Carrick-Smith and Michael Worsman were repelling every attack whilst Troy Klemm and Clint Gates held their dangerous Henley opponents in check. The second term saw Henley start strongly to kick the first goal of the term from a free kick in a ruck contest. The Saints steadied but despite controlling most of the play couldn’t convert on the scoreboard. Another Henley goal after a 25 metre penalty narrowed the margin to a couple of behinds before Mark Demasi converted from deep in the forward pocket for the first of the term for the Saints.
Half forward Nick Kerber burst through the pack moments later to convert a team lifting goal from long range to stretch the lead. Adrian Burton then stretched the margin further after a great tackle and holding the ball decision for the third of the term. Daniel Wakelin was on top in ruck continuing his good form of the previous month whilst Brenton Reidy was blanketing a dangerous opponent.
A calm address at half time heard Coach Mills implore his side to keep their structure and to continue to follow the game plan that had been set. Henley started the 3rd quarter positively after a quick forward line entry spilled off hands for a goal. The Saints steadied however after centre half forward Matthew Illman marked strongly and goaled from close range. The game turned into an arm wrestle for a period as no side could exert any authority and clean passages of play were few and far between. A couple of late goals to Henley and the margin was back to 3 points at the last change.
Despite having the aid of the wind in the final quarter coach Mills stressed that it was the side that worked hardest that would prevail. The first 5 minutes of the quarter passed without either side testing the goal umpires before Toby McAllister, who played a great game at half back and on the wing, burst through the pack to dribble a goal from 30 metres. Jordan Pinto was providing some good run up forward as was Simon Brooks off half back. It was Pinto who scored another for the Saints to extend the margin after some persistent efforts in the goal square saw him rewarded. The midfield through Bartel, Josh Moody and Donaldson continued to battle hard around the stoppages to create a number of opportunities for our forwards. Murray Hamblin continued to work hard and Ty Gordon provided some valuable spark off the bench.
Half way through the quarter Wakelin come off the ground under the blood rule and Malcolm Pohlner moved forward. This unsettled Henley, as Pohlner's hard work created good forward line pressure. Pohlner, in his final match, was rewarded with a brilliantly snapped goal late in the quarter sending the Saints supporters into celebration made. Henley scored a late consolation goal before best on ground Adrian Burton kicked his second to seal a hard fought 19 point victory for the Saints.
The Saints crowd joined Coach Mills, his football staff and the players at the sounding of the final siren as the players celebrated a magnificent victory. The unbelievable achievement of five successive SAAFL Division 1 premierships was now a reality.