Demons on the up and up

South Gambier has established itself as the team to beat following the Western Border Football League’s short two week burst to open the 2022 season.

Having already accounted for Millicent in the grand final rematch, the Demons had East Gambier in their sights on Saturday and put on a show for those who ventured out to Blue Lake Sports Park for the club’s first home game.

The Bulldogs entered the contest on the back foot, but were left shell-shocked as South steam-rolled the opening term.

A couple of strong contested marks from Hamish Stevens gave the Demons the impetus to start the game at full throttle.

South slammed home five straight goals to stamp its authority on the contest with Ryan Kuhl fronting the highlights reel with a delightful finish from the boundary.

A brave intercept mark by Adam Todd was the only highpoint for the visitors, who did not even trouble the scorers in the first term.

Down by 35 points at the first change, East needed to lift and did so with the help of Luke Johnston, who registered the team’s opening goal, while co-coach Matt Scanlon tried to lift his men by slotting a snap around the corner.

At one stage the Bulldogs appeared to be bringing themselves back into the game after trimming the deficit down to 17 points by half time thanks to the fine efforts of the Lock brothers Sam and Shaun.

But with the breeze favouring the Demons once again, normal service resumed.

Brock Keding, James Paprotny and Todd Reid continued their strong form sparking the side’s run, while Robert Hein capitalized on his elevation from the reserves.

Brodie Foster and Brayden Kain were enjoying tremendous service in the forward line collecting three goals each to kick South away from any danger.

Mitch Sims showed his soccer skills by scoring a clever major on his back and by three-quarter time the hosts re-established their dominance enjoying a six-goal lead before hanging tough against the wind in the final term.

Only three goals were possible in the fourth quarter and the majority were scored by the fast-running Demons to ice the 92-48 win.

Aside from a couple of injuries to Mason Hein and Josh Woodall, South coach Kain could not wish for a better start to the season.

“It has been good to get some confidence into the group and get results straight off the bat after a hard-working preseason,” he said.

“We had the scoring end first up and managed to hit the scoreboard as best as possible and did not allow East much use in the midfield.

“It was tricky because the wind was going across the ground towards the netball courts and had to be methodical about the way we moved the ball.

“To the boys’ credit they worked hard in the backline and midfield and nullified many of East’s scoring opportunities.”

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