The Demons have finally done it – taken the premiership points on Anzac Day. The high quality, physical contest at Vansittart Park saw South Gambier lead narrowly at every change before remaining composed in the last to actually their lead to a 10-goal victory.
It has been many years since South Gambier has had the better of North in the April 25 clash and it was only with five minutes to play the result looked assured as North Gambier continued to work its way back into contention.
The victory was built on the back of relentless defensive pressure from the Demons and it was Ellie Bouchier who won the Shirley Underwood medal for best on court by creating much of the turnover ball.
Her combination in circle defence with mother Brandi Bouchier worked seamlessly together to make access to the Tigers goalers difficult and with Ruby Richter and Imogen Walker working hard to pressure the feeders, South was able to force the usually composed Tigers frontline into errors.
Were it not for the outstanding finishing from Caroline Wakefield, who netted 41 from 42, the Tigers may not have stayed so close in the contest.
Her connection with Brianna Walters – who did not stop running and presenting all day – ensured the scoreboard never blew out.
Wakefield also received good service from Macey Griffith as they pair to strengthen their new look shooting combination.
At the defensive end, Mel Renko was at her tight checking best and her combination with Zahra Crough-Healon had some moments of brilliance, especially in the rebounding stakes.
But as a new combination they will only get better and working in sync as the season wears on.
When the Demons were close against East Gambier in round 2 they lost their composure, but this was to be no repeat as Richter and the Bouchier defensive combination continued to create turnovers, while Walker and Megan Reid controlled the ball until the space opened up for the young shooting combination of Alyssa Duncan and Lara Munro.
The frenetic final quarter was all about opportunity as the Demons held the Tigers frontline to only 11 scoring attempts while generating 20 of their own.