LODDON Valley league grand final opponents Bridgewater and Calivil United have already met three times this season, with the ledger 2-1 in favour of the Mean Machine.
ROUND 6 – Calivil United 14.6 (90) d Bridgewater 10.13 (73).
The Demons took over the tag as the team to beat after continuing their unblemished record with a 17-point win in the 1 v 2 clash.
The game was up for grabs at three quarter-time with the Demons holding a five-point advantage at home.
It was the Demons who finished the stronger, kicking four goals to one in the last term to get over the line and improve to 5-0.
“It was a tug-of-war all day, but we had a few lucky bounces go our way in the last quarter that we were able to get a few goals from,” Demons coach Anthony Dennis said.
The win was the Demons’ first over Bridgewater since 2010.
“We were in it for a long period of the game, but in the last 10 minutes they were able to kick some crucial goals and we weren’t able to do it down the other end,” Bridgewater coach Marc Lindsay said.
Best – Calivil United: B. Haines, M. Magee, C. Down. Bridgewater: Z. Broadbent, M. Lindsay, A. Collins.
ROUND 15 – Bridgewater 10.15 (75) d Calivil United 10.7 (67).
Bridgewater orchestrated the AFL Central Victoria region’s biggest half-time revival since 2014 when the Mean Machine on their home deck stunned the Demons after the main break.
The Demons led by 39 points at half-time – 8.3 to 1-6 – but they ground to a halt in the second half when the Mean Machine booted eight goals to two to get over the line by nine points and inflict Calivil United’s first loss.
“At half-time it was 11 scoring shots to seven, so it was a lack of polish that was letting us down in the first two quarters, but we improved that and it was a good win for us,” Lindsay said.
Bridgewater’s second half revival was kickstarted in the middle by Kyle Chant.
“We went from one extreme to the other today… we played a good brand of footy in the first half and then didn’t fire a shot after half-time,” Dennis lamented.
Best – Bridgewater: K. Chant, A. Collins, X. Henderson. Calivil United: M. Magee, C. Down, J. Lawry.
SECOND SEMI-FINAL – Bridgewater 13.13 (91) d Calivil United 12.10 (82).
Another game where the Mean Machine overhauled a half-time deficit – this time 15 points.
Trailing 7.3 to 4.6 at half-time, Bridgewater gained the ascendancy with a 7.5 to 1.5 third term kicking with the wind to build a 21-point lead at three quarter-time that proved out of reach of the Demons.
Calivil United lost Sam Green (shoulder), Henry Miller (ribs) and Brodie Fraser (shoulder) to injury during the third quarter, while Bridgewater ruckman David Harrison was reported and yellow-carded for rough conduct on Green that cost him a four-game suspension.
Best – Bridgewater: L. Harrison, T. Nalder, A. Collins. Calivil United: L. Marchesi, L. McAllister, J. Lea.