Demons steal the spotlight

South Gambier has taken the crown as the undisputed current king of the 2022 Bendigo Bank Western Border Football League having taken top spot in devastating fashion.

The Demons travelled to McLaughlin Park to settle a fight for first with Millicent and made the knockout blow by playing brave and fearless football.

The Saints held the high ground with the home ground advantage and the winning form having been victorious in the previous clash, but South had other ideas as playing coach Brayden Kain opened proceedings by kicking his first of six goals.

Kain confirmed his team came with a clear mindset and went on the attack kicking with the wind in the first term and the damage was done with the Demons enjoying a 36-13 lead at the main break despite a goalless second stanza.

“Over the last month we had been building towards this moment and we had the wind, so we knew it was crucial to get some early goals on the board and put them on the back foot,” he said.

“But they were also able to score and would have been happy with where they sat at quarter time.

‘But a bit of a rain shower came through in the second quarter and slowed the game down which was perfect for us because it nullified their attack on goal.

“It was a massive thing for us to control the ball while pushing into the wind.

“We did not go into our shell, we kept attacking which left us full of confidence to go bang in the third term and put Millicent into a position where they would find it hard to get back into the game.”

The Demons were a delight in the second half with their aggression pinging the Saints against the wall and leaving them behind.

With the likes of Brayden Kain, Colby Munro and Brodie Foster being flawless with their set shots, South had no dramas booting seven goals to two in the third term to effectively seal the game.

The best efforts of Jacob Carger trying to bring the home crowd to life with a couple of majors early in the final quarter only proved to be a small hiccup as the red and white ran the game out convincingly.

Despite the slightly slippery conditions, South played fast football and the Saints could not keep up with the highlight a flying Mitchell Sims hanger in front of the fans.

The Demons wrapped up the blockbuster battle in convincing style, breaking the 100-point barrier to win by 57 and officially be the team to beat.

Aside from fielding a stronger team personnel wise than in round 6, Kain said the keys to the success were his midfield’s ability to beat Millicent at its own game in the centre, plus the youngsters’ freedom to express themselves.

“The energy and excitement around the group is second to none and we took risks all day, showing some aggression and playing fast footy,” he said.

“Millicent’s midfield group has really dominated us over the last few outings, but we got on top and that is where the game was won and lost.

“Emerson Marks has been incredible the last month and he went head to head with (Jacob) Carger and limited his impact.

“Josh Woodall and James Paprotny also threw their bodies at the ball which set the tone and gave us confidence to finish the game off with really exciting football.

“Some of the young kids just take the game on and are not afraid to make a mistake, so we have given them a license and the back six has also been exceptional.

“The lid is still on, but whoever got up yesterday could catapult themselves into the back end of the year and it is a step in the right direction.”

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