GSFL determined to go again after grand final defeat

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GSFL's Kenton Gibbs takes a big grab.
Camera IconGSFL's Kenton Gibbs takes a big grab. Credit: Cameron Newbold

The Great Southern Football League have vowed to return bigger and better next year after falling short in their bid for a division 3 title at the Landmark Country Football Championships on Sunday.

The GSFL were outclassed by Eastern Districts in the decider at Claremont Oval, going down by 28 points, but coach Craig Dew said after the game that would only drive his side to come back hungrier next year.

“This is just the start — next year we will get going earlier and come back ready to win,” he said.

“This group can get even stronger next year.

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“We were just a bit off today.”

After being beaten by Eastern Districts in their first game of the carnival, the GSFL carried plenty of momentum into the final, having won their remaining three games to secure a place, but they were left to rue a poor first term.

The GSFL conceded the first five goals of the game, stunned by the Eastern Districts’ pressure and physicality around the contest that in the end proved the decisive period in the game.

Despite their best efforts in the final term, a wounded GSFL outfit went down by 28 points as they fell at the final hurdle.

Eastern Districts kicked three goals inside the first nine minutes of the match, and despite the GSFL hitting back with late goals to Kym Monteath and Luke Cameron, they still trailed by 19 points at the first break.

David Gare kicked the only major of the second term as Eastern Districts extended their lead to 27 points by half-time.

Star duo Cody Nelson and Alex James then made it almost impossible for the GSFL to win as they helped their side open up a 40-point advantage going into the final term.

If it wasn’t already over, it was when Aiden Anthony snapped his third early in the final quarter and, despite kicking the final three goals of the game, it was all too late as the GSFL went down, 5.6 (36) to 9.10 (64).

This year’s GSFL team walk off Claremont Oval after their grand final loss.
Camera IconThis year’s GSFL team walk off Claremont Oval after their grand final loss.

The loss of Cameron Allison to a hamstring injury added further woes to the GSFL camp, which also went into the final without ex-WAFL duo Andrew Ruck and Mitch Green.

However, their midfield were soundly beaten and the defence was under enormous pressure from the opening bounce, failing to stop the potent Eastern Districts forward mix.

Nic Barrow was outstanding across the four quarters for the GSFL, helping back in defence and winning lots of ball around the stoppages to be their best contributor.

Michael Trevenen, Jack McPhee and Ryan Kinnear tried hard throughout, while defenders Graham Ross and Luke Hutcheson were also solid performers.

Monteath was the only multiple goal kicker but was well held after his 13-goal afternoon on Saturday.

Josh Nelson was instrumental for the winners along with Alec Cook, Anthony and Gare, with the latter named best on ground.

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