More grand final heartache for GSFL
The Great Southern Football League have been unable to secure grand final revenge, losing the division 3 grand final at the Landmark Country Football Championships for the second straight year.
This time the defeat came at the hands of Regional Allstars, who won a terrific four-quarter battle after three goals in the final term at Claremont Oval on Sunday.
The GSFL’s hopes of winning the decider and earning promotion out of division 3 appeared strong when Jack Steel ran inside 50 and speared home the first goal of the final term.
However in a last half that had five lead changes, Regional Allstarts responded to pinch a 13-point win and hand the GSFL another heartbreaking defeat.
Former Claremont midfielder Keifer Yu proved the difference for the winners, booting three class goals including a major after the three quarter time siren that gave his side the lead.
With John Lee in great touch up forward, the GSFL led by five points at quarter time after two majors from Lee and one from Rick Wallis.
Regional Allstars kicked the first two majors of the second but Wallis booted his second and the GSFL had a slender one-point advantage at the main break.
A wonderful snap from GSFL veteran Dionne Woods and then a Jake Becroft major were cancelled out by Alex Byrne and then the Yu goal after the siren, which came from a free kick 40m out directly in front.
After Steel’s lovely running goal, Yu hit back with his third major as his influence continued to grow and that was followed by a major from Braydon Wood to put their side seven points up.
Michael Burgess sealed the deal, as Regional Allstars claimed the grand final 9.7 (61) to 7.6 (48).
Yu was clearly best-afield but the medal for best on ground adjudged by the umpires went to lead-up forward Byrne who was a constant headache for the GSFL.
The GSFL were best served by midfielders Jesse Wynne and Joel Want and defensive trio Luke Hutcheson, Harrison Lill and Hamish McMorran.
Coach Craig Dew lamented the lack of a key forward, after they lost Stephen Beal to a nasty concussion on Friday, and their depth issues as factors in the grand final loss.
“That’s about where we are at, with the squads we are sending,” Dew said.
“If we want to get serious about carnival footy we have to get our absolute best players going. We had our chances in the final but with that squad needed everything to go right for us to win.
“Momentum changed so quickly, I thought we looked really likely at three quarter time.
“We fell down all week across half forward, our defence played well and midfield dominated at times but it kept bouncing out.”
After coughing up a half-time lead in their first qualifying game against Regional Allstars at Bassendean Oval on Friday the GSFL bounced back to thrash North Midlands by 55 points.
They then prevailed in a must-win clash with Central Wheatbelt on Saturday at David Grays Arena, with the 28-point result pushing them into the decider for the second year running.
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