Goodwood Saints (2.6, 6.7, 8.8, 13.9) 87 V Salisbury North (1.2, 6.3, 8.3, 9.4) 58
Demasi, Bartel, Spencer, Burton, Wakelin, Pohlner, Klemm, Dempsey.
Demasi 5, Klemm 2, Kells, Pohlner, Treloar, Dempsey, Burton, Kerber.
Captain David Bartel won the toss and elected to kick with the aid of a 3 goal breeze in the 2008 SAAFL division 1 grand final at Thebarton Oval. Best and Fairest winner Anthony Dempsey set the tone with two chase down holding the ball free kicks in the first 5 minutes of the first quarter but it was Salisbury North who scored the early goal. Dual Eric Pfitzner medallist Bartel started brilliantly and set up Mark Demasi for the Saints first goal. Full froward Eric Kells marked strongly and goaled at the 15 minute mark but errant kicking for goal let the side down and a 10 point lead was the result of the first use of the breeze. Daniel Wakelin in ruck giving Bartel and Adrian Burton first use in the centre and Matthew Spencer and Charlie Thomas strong contributors in defence.
Salisbury North started the second quarter with two quick goals to snatch a 2 point lead. Troy Klemm was looking dangerous up forward and his mark and goal in the 8th minute was answered with a quick Salisbury North reply. An arm wrestle developed with Klemms 2nd goal for the quarter quickly answered by Salisbury North. Late goals to Dempsey and Nic Kerber from the boundary had the Saints snatching back a 4 point lead at half time. Desperate defence from Malcolm Pohlner, Travis Beinke and Brenton Reidy and dash out of defence from Clint Gates epitomised the desperate struggle at hand.
The 3rd quarter continued where the 2nd had left off with both defences on top and a tight man on man contest all over the ground. Anthony Dempsey continued to provide drive with Simon Brooks becoming more prominent. The first goal was not until the 13 minute mark of the quarter and it was Salisbury North edging back in front. Demasi and Pohlner both goaled to get the Saints some breathing space but Salisbury North responded again and the Saints led by just 5 points at 3 quarter time. Bartel, Burton and Demasi continued to provide crucial drive from the centre but the Saints couldn’t break the tight Salisbury North Defence.
The final quarter was set up to be a ripper and it didn’t disappoint. Demasi roved and goaled at the 4 minute mark but Salisbury North answered immediately. It was an end to end struggle with neither side giving an inch. Matthew Treloar ran from the wing to get on the end of a Simon Brooks pass and the resultant goal had the Saints out to a 10 point lead. The dog fight continued with Spencer now providing an important target up forward. His pass to Demasi in the 19th minute set up a vital goal and when Demasi scored on the run for his 3rd goal of the quarter minutes later the Saints were out to an unassailable 23 point lead. When Adrian Burton scored minutes later and the final siren sounded scenes of complete joy and relief were to follow.
Coach Mills summed up his feelings and was suitably impressed with his side “I’m very proud of all the guys. To stand up in the last quarter like we did makes me proud”. Captain Bartel too was ecstatic after the game “A lot of character, we ground it out and to turn the tide against the wind – full credit to the blokes”.
So the Saints had completed the 4th premiership in a row. Mark Demasi with his 5 goals added the Alan Statton Medal for best on ground to his Eric Pfitzner Medal and a win to be savoured by all involved was complete.