HAVING missed the Bendigo Football League finals for seven straight seasons, Kangaroo Flat is now just one win away from playing in the grand final.The Roos yesterday remained alive in what is their first finals campaign since 2001 by defeating Gisborne in the first semi-final at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.Kangaroo Flat doubled Gisborne’s score in a 57-point win, 17.12 (114) to 7.15 (57), to advance to the preliminary final against South Bendigo.The Roos’ victory followed their 65-point win over Eaglehawk in the elimination final last week.For Gisborne, the Bulldogs became yet another victim of the double chance curse as they became the 11th team in the past 13 years to be bundled out of the premiership race in straight sets.The Roos set up their victory by taking advantage of the breeze to the city end in the first quarter.Inside the first 12 minutes of the match the Roos had 4.2 on the board, with two of their first four goals beauties.At the five-minute mark forward Justin Maddern cleverly steered through a checkside off the outside of his boot from 30m.And a minute later, Ryan McNish fell to the ground in the goalsquare, but had the smarts to reclaim possession and kick a goal while still on the ground.Roos’ captain Tyrone Downie, who was opposed by Cameron Medica, made a threatening start.Within the first 12 minutes, Downie had already taken three marks and kicked 2.1.The Roos kicked 6.6 in the first quarter, while Gisborne failed to score against the breeze.Needing to make the most of their turn with the wind, the Bulldogs finally kicked their first goal of the match three minutes into the second term.The goal was kicked by Darren Farrugia after intercepting a lazy kick out of defence from the Roos’ Shannon Geary.Kangaroo Flat suffered a blow at the eight-minute mark when midfielder Grant Ford limped off the ground with a knee injury.Gisborne captain Anthony Belcher produced one of the game’s highlights at the 13-minute mark when he kicked a superb goal out of mid-air after the ball spilled from a marking contest.The Bulldogs kicked four goals in the second term as they cut what had been a 42-point deficit at quarter-time to 18 at half-time.Gisborne missed opportunities to be closer at half-time after coach Ty Elliott, Farrugia and Casey Summerfield all squandered gettable chances between the 16 and 18-minute marks.The Roos’ sole goal of the second quarter was kicked by Maddern, which was the only goal kicked at the Barnard Street end in the first half.Gisborne made a promising start against the breeze in the third term, controlling possession for the first 10 minutes and generating run through the corridor, but they could only register two behinds on the scoreboard.Kangaroo Flat then regained the ascendancy with three goals in the space of six minutes to Geary, McNish - courtesy of a 50m penalty against Josh Bain - and Maddern, which extended the Roos’ advantage to 34 points.Integral in the Roos’ reasserting their dominance was young ruckman Nick Lang, who exerted an influence around the ground.By three quarter-time, the Roos’ advantage had ballooned out to 47 points following a goal after the siren from 45m to Downie.To be any chance of launching an unlikely comeback, the Bulldogs desperately needed to kick the first goal of the final term.However, Summerfield, Luke Saunders and Elliott all missed chances in the first four minutes to kick goals and generate momentum for the Bulldogs.The Roos then made the Bulldogs pay for their wasted chances when at the five-minute mark, Jarryd Wiegard marked a kick from Maddern in the goal square and goaled to put Kangaroo Flat ahead by 54 points.Maddern finished with six goals in the tricky conditions, taking his season tally to 91, while also taking 11 marks in a best on ground performance.The Roos also had Jason Curtain, who held Saunders to just four marks, Cameron Carter, Andrew Gladman, Casey Bourke and Downie (three goals, nine marks) play fine games.In what could be Gisborne’s last game in the BFL, its best included Farrugia (four goals), workhorse Ollie Messaoudi, Scott Walsh, Shaun Comerford, Ryan Webster, Matt McKenzie and Elliott. Match statistics:Centre clearances: Kangaroo Flat 15; Gisborne 11. Inside 50s: Kangaroo Flat 53; Gisborne 43. Stoppage clearances: Kangaroo Flat 21; Gisborne 25.
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