OPPORTUNITY is knocking for Wycheproof-Narraport to win back to-back North Central league premierships for the first time in 21 years at Charlton on Saturday.
Just as they did last year, the Demons will take on Birchip-Watchem in the grand final and if they prevail again the club will be celebrating consecutive flags for the first time since 1996-97.
Saturday is the Demons’ third-consecutive grand final, with last year’s 12-point defeat of the Bulls having come 12 months after a seven-point loss to Charlton.
But unlike their previous two grand finals when they had to win their way in via the preliminary final, the Demons will go into Saturday having had a week to freshen up after defeating the Bulls by 14 points in the second semi-final.
Julian Bull’s Demons head into the grand final with a 15-2 record; Birchip-Watchem being the only team they have lost to throughout the year.
Hard-nut skipper George Turner has set the tone for the Demons in the midfield and he will carry an extra bit of motivation on Saturday given a broken jaw kept him out of last year’s grand final.
Turner goes into the grand final in red-hot form having been among the Demons’ best three players in their past six games, while Boe Bish – last year’s Des Darcy medallist – has again been a constant source of drive off half-back in a side that has now gone 53 games without having a score of at least 100 kicked against it.
The Demons haven’t been as potent in attack this year as they were last year, with their average score of 84 well down on their 108 of 2017 after what has been a change in forward 50 personnel.
Of last year’s top four goalkickers, Andrew Mead-Harding (55 in 2017) and Matt Riordan (34) aren’t playing with the Demons this season; injury has restricted superstar Corey Jones to just five games and 17 goals, down from his 71 in 2017; and James Coatsworth (32 in 2017) has played just eight games for seven goals.
Only veteran Ricky Allan (33), Ben Brennan (32) and Turner (22) have kicked more than 20 goals this season for the Demons.
As well as the senior football, Wycheproof-Narraport also has the chance to win the A Grade netball flag, with the undefeated Demons going in as red-hot favourites against Donald.
B: S. Allan, T. Rumbold, M. Fawcett
HB: B. Sheahan, A. Bull, B. Bish
C: H. Abbot, J. Turner, D. McLennan
HF: T. Holobowski, J. Bull, T. Sheahan
F: J. Coatsworth, B. Brennan, R. Allan
R: C. Howgate, G. Turner, D. Bibby
Int: (from) R. Binks, R. White, D. Harrison, C. Jones, K. McNicol
In: K. McNicol, C. Jones
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