Gilbert full of praise for powerful Storm unit

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Great Southern Storm head coach Phil Gilbert has praised his side for another excellent Great Southern Colts Carnival, reaching a seventh successive grand final after two impressive victories on Saturday.

The Storm recovered from a poor first quarter to run out comfortable 46-point winners over Upper Great Southern Football League to book a place in the decider.

After easily accounting for Eastern Districts Football League in their opening match earlier on Saturday, the Storm came up against UGSFL in a virtual semifinal but they trailed by 11 points at quarter-time after conceding three goals.

But with a strong history at the carnival, the Storm fought back as they held UGSFL to a single point in the second term and kicked five goals of their own to wrestle back control of the contest.

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Another five goals in the third term helped Storm extend their advantage to 41 points at the final change and they held sway in the last stanza, recording an impressive victory 13.8 (86) to 6.4 (40) in the end.

Great Southern Storm's Braden Retallack.
Camera IconGreat Southern Storm's Braden Retallack.

Hayden Davies was superb across half back, Brandon Woods was lively throughout and silky ball user Tom Wolfe was also influential with two majors.

The Storm isolated Jake Becroft deep in the forward line after quarter-time and the move paid dividends as he finished with four goals in the win.

Earlier in the day, the Storm made light work of EDFL in their first qualifier of the historic carnival hosted by Kulin, running out convincing 90-point winners at the final siren.

Heavy fog covered the ground prior to bounce down at 9am and failed to clear until well into the last quarter, making it almost impossible for players, umpires and coaching staff to see the action on the ground.

Great Southern Storm's Tom Wolfe looks to handball off.
Camera IconGreat Southern Storm's Tom Wolfe looks to handball off.

The Storm, however, started brightly as Davies gave them first use in the centre and smart forwards Taj Williams and Becroft were the beneficiaries with two and three goals, respectively, in the first term.

Four more goals in the second term helped the Storm extend their margin to 49 points by half-time but they wasted opportunities in the third quarter despite having 12 inside 50s and added only two more goals.

The Storm got greater reward in the final period though as prime midfielder Corey Hitchcock and Lachy O’Shea were busy to help their side finish victors, 18.5 (113) to 3.4 (23).

Great Southern Storm caoch Phil Gilbert gives instructions at three quarter time.
Camera IconGreat Southern Storm caoch Phil Gilbert gives instructions at three quarter time.

“It was a pleasing carnival all round, I’m very proud of the way we carrier ourselves and performed,” Gilbert said.

“The two best sides made the final and we had a number of positives including six 16-year-old players.

“We’ll regroup and have a crack at Perth in a couple of weeks.”

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