Gisborne Under 18s are headed to the QEO for a second semi against Strathfieldsaye. In the first Quarter both Gisborne and Strathfieldsaye hotly contested the ball. The game was fast paced but a low-scoring affair, due to strong defensive pressure by both teams.
Gisborne finished on top scoring seven points to six.
In the second term Gisborne continued to fight with a string of contested play, kicking the only goal for the quarter. The game was congested on a dewy ground, with J. Ozanne for Gisborne playing hard in the ruck. There was plenty of competitive fire between both teams, but Gisborne hung onto their lead of 15 points to seven.
In the third quarter Strathfieldsaye fought back kicking three goals.
Nonetheless, Gisborne began to assert their dominance through their physicality. The Bulldog’s back men L. Spear and A. Brancatisano played their defensive roles definitively, stopping any fastball movement that the Storm attempted towards their forward 50. Gisborne managed to score two goals, retaining their lead at the end of the third term of 30 points to 26 points.
In the fourth quarter, both teams came out pumped up and ready to play.
The ball was hard fought and there wasn’t a moment the stoppages weren’t congested. Midfielders F. Lakey, S. Bell-Bartels and J. Murphy began to get on top, through clearances and deep forward entries.
Gisborne continued to dominate and kicked four consecutive goal, while simultaneously keeping Strathfieldsaye goalless due to a strong defensive line. The extra time in the third and fourth terms took its toll on both teams. Gisborne used their running capacity from a hard pre-season to out run the Storm and eventually take the win. The final score was 57 to 28 and secures the U18 boys a spot in the 2018 BFNL Grand Final.
Goals kickers on the day were M. Blake (2), B. Eales (2), R. Lane, B. Slater, L. Spear and T. Bird (1).
Best players for the semi final were A. Brancatisano, F. Lakey, L. Spear, J. Ozanne, S. Bell-Bartels and J. Murphy.