Defending 2014 Premiers, the Woodsmen have progressed to the 2015 Grand Final after a tight tussle vs the Zillmere Eagles at Kedron on Friday night.
Slow out of the blocks, and failing take advantage of dominance of possession and field position, the Woodies went into half time with just 2 goals on the board and staring down the barrel of a straight sets exit with Zillmere making the most of their opportunities in front of goal against a committed Woodies defence.
However, the Woodsmen upped the ante in the 2nd half, pumping the ball in long and direct to take advantage of their quality tall forward line and ground level crumbers, after frustratingly trying to spot up short targets earlier in the game. Zillmere were now under constant aerial and ground level pressure, but fought hard to stem the flow, while the Woodies looked like kicking themselves out of the contest with several shots going out on the full or inexplicably falling short.
In the end, 8 second half goals including 3 straight in the last 5 minutes after excellent clearance work from Sam Curtis saw the Woodsmen run out 13 point winners in what was a tough encounter between two evenly matched teams with everything to play for.
Richie Hemsley and Ricky Dudley were warriors across half back with their superb defensive work, and run from half back setting up wave after wave of attack - while Sam Curtis and Chris Mihapolous both got a case of leather poisoning through the middle of the ground. After Andrew Thomson went down with a leg injury, big Gerard Moore turned back the clock in the 2nd half taking several strong marks across half forward, while captain Sean Toohey again showed his experience and big game credentials putting in his best half of football for the year changing on the ball and directing traffic in the forward line and with his dangerous presence, not allowing the Eagles to double team any of the Woodsmen talls.
The Woodsmen now take on the Kedron Lions at 730pm on Friday September 4 at Zillmere in the 2015 QAFA Central Grand Final.
It has been a superb effort from the Woodsmen to get to the Grand Final this year, and will prove to be a memorable victory should they get the chocolates after a year of setbacks with constant injury to key players. The improvement in new and existing players and the depth of the squad has never been tested like it has in 2015 and the Woodies look forward to celebrating with Magpie fans at the club on Friday night, win or lose!
We encourage all Magpie fans to get down and support the boys in their tilt for back to back Premierships.