Roos jump to decider

There’s a saying in politics that opposition parties don’t win elections, but rather governments lose them.
Nanjing Night Net

That’s something that could be said of Saturday’s cliffhanger second semi-final at Maidstone Park.

Rather than Wesley Vale winning 15.14 (104) to 12.9 (81) and advance to their first NWFA grand final inseven years, the minor premier Motton Preston lost by 23 points.

After surrendering a seven-pointthree-quarter time lead to trail by two points with 15 minutes left to play, Wesley Vale kept pressing forward andthe tension mounted on the field.

With some Motton Preston players struggling under the duress of an action-packedlast quarter, the umpires extinguished the spot fires by awarding Wesley Vale a succession of free kicks and that’s when the semi-final was won and lost.

It wasn’t so much the free kicks that were damaging,but more so their location that waswithin striking distance of Wesley Vale’s goal.

Closing: Motton Preston’s Stephen Jones (right) goes to tackle Wesley Vale’s Jackson Woods in the NWFA first semi-final. Picture: Paul Scambler.

Mark King was the first to kick accurately andrestore the lead for the Kangaroos.

Then John Arnott and Dane Townsend followed suit, gifting the Valethree of their five last-quarter goals and relegatingMotton Preston to next Saturday’s preliminary final.

That will be rematch of last year’s grand final after Forth overcame some inaccurate kicking to bringEast Ulverstone’s final’s journey to an end and win 14.19 (103) to 11.2 (68).

It was not before Eastwent toe to toe with their more fancied opponents and were within striking distance at three-quartertime, trailing by just 13 points.

Mark King (left) and Josh Rockliff contest the ruck.

Whenever Forth appeared to have the upper hand the Crows continued toclaw their way back into contention through the persistence of Ryan Ivory, Jesse Bellchambers and tirelessruckman Josh Horton.

From limited opportunities full forward Jamie Auton kicked four goals and MatthewChamberlain contributed two from half forward, but in the end it was Forth’s persistence and fresher legsthat proved the decisive factor.

Although Forth converted just three of their 12 last-quarter scoring shots into goals,they were never seriously threatened by the Crows on the scoreboard.

Nick Morgan was one who missed a few set shots,but that was compensated by some strong marking and a willingness to exert pressure on the EastUlverstone defence.

When the Magpies’ ruckman Taylor McCormack chimed in with a late goal the match was played out to itsinevitable conclusion and a 35-point win to Forth that got its finals campaign back on track.

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