Demons dig deep in Anzac match

South Gambier may have continued its winning start to the 2022 Western Border Football League season, but it had to dig deep to overcome a spirited North Gambier on a special Anzac Day at Vansittart Park.

The Tigers v Demons Anzac Day battles are always special occasions, but the 2022 was extra meaningful.

Vansittart Park looked a picture under the sunlight as football and netball players and spectators stood as one saluting those who served our country during the last post.

To complete the spectacle, both teams wore striking guernseys to celebrate the occasion.

North turned its black sash into poppies, while South reversed its colours with the “V” being covered in red poppies with the strip completed by a silhouette of a solider paying respect to the grave of a fallen mate.

Still hurting from copping a pasting 12 months ago, the Tigers were hungry for revenge and made a statement early.

After six minutes of tough football, Nick McInerney’s efforts were rewarded when he hit the chest of Sam Stafford, who sent the yellow and black into the lead.

Although the silky skills of Liam Delaney brought the scores level at the start of the second, North made its move with Dylan Munn feeding the ball in regularly and Toby de Wit taking some high-flying marks.

By the main break the home fans were cheerful with the Tigers 19 points up and on track for an upset.

However, South returned a different force after half time where some self-reflection was required.

Brett O’Neil’s drive off half back was critical as he went on to collect another Tony Casadio Medal, while coach Brayden Kain and Brodie Foster did the damage scoring seven goals between them.

The Demons completely overwhelmed the Tigers in the second half scoring eight goals to three and Kain said given the comeback and occasion, the 11-point win was one of his most satisfying.

“It is always a pleasure to play on Anzac Day and we treasure it,” he said.

“After last year’s Anzac Day we could have been a little bit complacent and flat footed as North threw everything at us.

“We were still able to move the ball forward, but their defence pushed us a bit wide which caused us to score a few points (2.8).

“Our midfield group was getting beaten around the stoppages, so we needed them to step up and lead the way.

“We broke things down at half time, readjusted and went back to a man-on-man style which nullified their impact and freed us up to gain some momentum.

“It was close game that we had to grit it out, so to see the boys fight it out was super pleasing.”

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