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Bartel, Burton, Kerber, Demasi, Illman, Treloar, Telfer, A Wilson.
Kells 5, Earl 3, Kerber 3, Dempsey 2, Bartel 2, Demasi, Burton, Telfer, Spencer.
The Saints took on Gaza in the 2007 SAAFL grand final at Thebarton Oval on Saturday. Gaza the minor premier, who the Saints defeated in the 2005 decider, had progressed straight to the grand final courtesy of a 15 point victory over us 2 weeks earlier.
We entered the game with one of the most settled sides we had had all winter with only one change made at selection (Webb returning for the unlucky Ty Allen). Skipper Dave Bartel won the toss and kicked with the aid of a handy 4 goal breeze. Matt Illman and Adrian Burton started the game in irresistible fashion dominating the centre square. Burton’s first quarter was spectacular and it was he who scored the first goal of the game after a tremendous second and third effort at the contest enabled him to win a loose ball and run into an open goal from 40 metres out. Nick Kerber kicked the second goal a minute later after a great chase and tackle earned him a free kick. Further goals to Telfer, Earl, Kells, and a second to Kerber had us out to a six goal buffer at the 12 minute mark of the first term.
The Saints were dominating all over the ground with Bartel, Burton and Demasi enjoying the armchair ride they were being given by Illman in the centre and Matt Treloar around the ground. Gaza responded with goals to Hardy and Motlop to narrow the margin but further goals to Kells and Kerber (his third for the term) on the stroke of quarter time set up a handy 34 point lead at the first term.
Gaza started positively with two goals to Hardy early in the second term before the Saints responded with goals to Kells, after being setup through some fantastic midfield work from Burton, Roesler, Starling and Demasi. Our defence was holding up very strongly led by seasoned campaigners Spencer, Reidy, Webb and Beinke. Adam Wilson was providing great run off half back while his twin brother Hayden was providing a great avenue through half forward in conjunction with Matt Earl. Kells added his fourth following a great conversion from deep in the left forward pocket to enable us to hold a handy 32 point break at the long break.
The third quarter saw Hayden Wilson take over the role on their dangerous forward Hardy, while Ash Lindner moved to centre half back. Matthew Spencer moved forward to kick a cheeky goal after reading some very predictable Gaza defensive work. If not for poor kicking for goal in the third term the game could have been a blow out. The quarter was a struggle as each side battled in the warm conditions and the game turned into a battle of defences. Lindner, Wilson, Illman and Beinke proved impassable throughout the term. Further goals to Earl and Bartel saw the lead stretch to in excess of eight goals before a late goal to our opponents saw the margin narrow.
The Saints hard attack on the footy never waned in the final term as the tackling of Webb, Kerber, Bartel, Starling and Burton together with the run of Telfer, Roesler and Adam Wilson continued to highlight the game. Gaza started the quarter by kicking the first 2 goals but our boys responded through goals to Earl and Kells. Rookie ruckman Louis Turner entered the game to relieve an exhausted Matt Illman and continued where Illman had left off. Anthony Dempsey chimed in with 2 goals and when Dane Sommers fed best on ground David Bartel a handball leading to his second goal there was nothing left to do but celebrate a third consecutive premiership. Well done to coach Trent Mills, the players and the coaching staff on a tremendous result.