Despite a strong performance on Saturday, beating second-placed Bell Post Hill by 32 points in the GDFNL qualifying final at St Albans Reserve, Inverleigh will go into the first semi final against Thomson this Saturday as the underdogs, according to Hawks coach Chris Moore.
“Thomson have been the benchmark all season,” Moore said.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for them, they finished on top and we’re the underdogs, so we’ve just got to go out and probably put in a performance like we did on the weekend and put our best foot forward,” he said.
Consistency across the park saw the Hawks keep the Panthers goalless in the first and third periods, eventually taking the win (9.11) 65 to (4.9) 33, but Moore said the scores didn’t tell the whole story.
“We definitely played four quarters, (but) I thought that maybe the scoreboard flattered us a little bit,” he said.
“Bell Post Hill had their chances but they just couldn’t convert and we did at the right time.”
Moore said it was a top performance by the whole team, but three Hawks players really stood out on the day.
“Dalton Grundell played really well up forward and Mitch Elford down back played on (Will) Ford, who’s the premier forward in the league and he kept him goalless, and then Brad Surkitt in the middle of the ground was tough and hard all day.”
Bell Post Hill will get a second chance this Sunday, when they play East Geelong in the second semi-final after putting paid to reigning premiers Bannockburn by just four points in the elimination final on Sunday.
After keeping Bannockburn goalless in the first quarter, the Eagles held off a spirited third-quarter resurgence by the Tigers for a nail-biting finish, ending on (12.9) 81 to (10.17) 77.
The Panthers beat the Eagles by 30 points the last time they played, back in Round 8.