Storm’s grand final run ends at hands of Cavaliers

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Storm's Tom Wolfe looks to dish off against Ongerup.
Camera IconStorm's Tom Wolfe looks to dish off against Ongerup. Credit: Cameron Newbold

A superb five-goal first quarter helped the Great Southern Storm finish third at the annual Great Southern Colts Carnival, which wrapped up in Kulin on Sunday.

After missing out on a berth in what would have been an eighth straight grand final, the Storm showed terrific signs ahead of their upcoming test at the Landmark Country Football Championships with wins over Goldfields and Ongerup.

The most impressive of those was against Goldfields, in a play-off for third and fourth position, as Storm proved too strong on their way to a 36-point triumph that was set up by the five-goal to nil first quarter.

Storm's Codey Baxter gets his kick away under pressure from Ongerup's Hayden Richter.
Camera IconStorm's Codey Baxter gets his kick away under pressure from Ongerup's Hayden Richter.

After winning the toss and kicking with the aid of a strong breeze, the Storm started brilliantly, with full forward Rivah Bocian and the dynamic Nelson Kent helping their side race out to a 33-point lead.

Storm’s defence was resolute in the second, restricting Goldfields to just two majors, and goals to Kent and then Bocian in the third pushed the margin back to 33 points by the last change.

After an early Goldfields goal, the Storm won plenty of midfield ball in the final term as Fraser Eaton, Jack Steel, Tom Wolfe and Alex Pearce ensured their side would prevail, 9.14 (68) to 4.8 (32) to cap another strong carnival.

Storm's Alex Pearce.
Camera IconStorm's Alex Pearce.

Bocian and Kent were terrific focal points up front, while Steel’s leadership through half back and midfield was terrific.

Midfield bull Jayden Scott was outstanding in the win, while Zainel Bin Busu, Kohen Lemin, Eaton and Marcus Mellon joined him among the Storm’s best players.

In Saturday’s opening 21-point loss to Peel, the Storm came home with a wet sail to get within seven points when Scott kicked his second goal of the game midway through the fourth term.

Steel was again impressive and Codey Baxter did a lot of hard work at stoppages, and Hayden Parker, Wolfe and Scott joined them among the best players.

Storm's Fraser Eaton dishes off a handball.
Camera IconStorm's Fraser Eaton dishes off a handball.

It was a one-sided affair against Ongerup later on Saturday, the Storm holding them to one point in a 199-point demolition.

Eaton was superb across the four quarters along with Scott, while emerging ruckman Kalin Lane was a dominant force and Baxter won plenty of the ball again.

The Storm had 14 individual goal kickers, with six players booting three majors each.

Storm's Kieran Gowdie flies for a mark.
Camera IconStorm's Kieran Gowdie flies for a mark.

There was a controversial moment in the game when Ongerup called for a head count during the third term after Storm had an extra player on the ground, but when the umpires counted the players up, both sides had 18 on the ground and the game resumed.

On the injury front, Jake Abbott took a heavy hit in the opening game and was ruled out of the remainder with concussion, while Hayden Davies broke a finger and Baxter injured his shoulder.

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