MOUNT Pleasant full-forward Matt Gretgrix again lived up to his big-game reputation, with his haul of eight goals on Sunday propelling the Blues into the second week of the Heathcote District Football League finals.
Gretgrix was the difference as the Blues beat White Hills by 16 points in the elimination final at Lockington.
Playing in their first final since 2008, the Blues prevailed 15.13 (103) to 13.9 (87) to move through to next week’s first semi-final against Lockington-Bamawm United.
“It was a fairly tight contest all day, but Gretgrix’s eight goals has obviously helped the cause a fair bit,” Mount Pleasant coach Derrick Filo said.
“We know he’s capable of kicking big goals in big finals and he did that today, but we had plenty of good support around him.”
Gretgrix kicked four of his goals in the first quarter, which helped the Blues recover from a sluggish start after the Demons had booted the opening three goals of the match without Mount Pleasant barely touching the ball.
After momentum swayed in the first half, the Demons held a nine-point advantage at the long break, 10.5 to 8.8.
However, the Blues, with the aid of the breeze in the third term, were able to kick away to what proved a match-winning advantage, adding five goals to one to lead by 18 points going into the final quarter.
“It was typical of an elimination final... very tight and tense and just a good contest and we’ll now move onto next week,” Filo said.
As well as Gretgrix, the Blues also had Nathan Whipp and Mitch Collins play well in the midfield to help cover the late withdrawal of young gun Koe Ngawati, while the classy Jarrod Findlay (two goals), Carl Thiesz and star defender Tim Hill were also prominent.
The standout for the Demons was small forward Alex Galea (two goals), who played his best game of the season.
Gun onballer Hayden Wright, Malcolm Douglas off half-back, Matt Frecker, Sam Kerr, who played on Blues’ star Kain Robins, and Gavin Bowles were also in the best for the Demons.
Full-forward Ricky Symes kicked three goals.
“It was a competitive game of footy, but Mount Pleasant controlled the footy better than we did,” Demons coach Shaun Makepeace said.
“They hit their targets and took some crucial marks up forward and that was probably the difference in the game.”