Superb Saturday performances guide Storm to final

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Storm's Ben Watson gets his kick away against Ongerup.
Camera IconStorm's Ben Watson gets his kick away against Ongerup. Credit: Cameron Newbold

Victories against Ongerup Football Association and Upper Great Southern Football League guided Great Southern Storm back to another grand final appearance at the Great Southern Colts Carnival in Lake Grace at the weekend.

The 97th running of the historic carnival had eight competing teams and the Storm, representing the Great Southern Football League, firstly overcame an early challenge from Ongerup to win by 99 points on Saturday that set up a semifinal against Upper Great Southern later in the day.

Storm's Cody Kerr spoils the ball.
Camera IconStorm's Cody Kerr spoils the ball.

A three goal to nil first term proved crucial in the end for the Storm against Upper Great Southern, who responded with a five-goal second term but still trailed by nine points at half-time.

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Power forward Kieran Gowdie took a number of telling marks and he booted two goals in the third while Cyrus Upson added his second as the Storm quickly raced 27 points ahead in the third.

Storm's Alex Pearce wraps up Ongerup's Leighton Smith.
Camera IconStorm's Alex Pearce wraps up Ongerup's Leighton Smith. Credit: Cameron Newbold

A late Upper Great Southern goal gave them some hope heading into the last term and Jacob Jennings booted an early one before majors from senior pair Alex Pearce and Taj Williams guided the Storm to a 15-point victory, 11.9 (75) to 9.6 (60).

The result sent Storm into their ninth grand final in the last 10 carnivals, missing last year’s decider that ended a run of eight straight.

Pearce was outstanding across the four quarters, the captain racking up possessions at will as he was joined in the best players by Nitan Benavides, Williams and Gowdie.

Storm's Henry Alforque dishes off.
Camera IconStorm's Henry Alforque dishes off.

Gowdie’s marking was a real highlight as the big man finished with three majors to go with the five he kicked earlier.

In their opening game, the Storm had to withstand a strong first-half from Ongerup on their way to a comfortable 21.6 (132) to 5.3 (33) result.

Storm's Taj Williams looks for options.
Camera IconStorm's Taj Williams looks for options.

The Storm held their rivals to a single goal after half-time and kicked 13 of their own, led by exciting forward Coen Jackman (three goals) and Kieran Gowdie (five). Better players in the first-up win were Jackman, Poch Amores, Williams and Cody Kerr.

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