2012 AAFL Final: Mt Roskill Win – A Saints view

Mt Roskill Saints 8.8:56 defeat Waitakere Magpies 7.5:47

We went into yesterday’s final with a healthy dose of trepidation, we’d seen the Magpies deal with Uni last week, and they do have a reputation for grand-final upsets. Our preparation was good, we were organised, and our squad has been extremely consistent and reliable this year – a problem in year’s past.

Our line-up wasn’t something we were about to change either, a strong forward line capable of high marks and good kicks, our mid-fielders fast and tough at the hard-ball gets, and a rock-solid back line that have simply been outstanding all year, constantly repelling opposition ball, and keeping us in every game.

With the strong cross-wind we knew our kicking was going to have to be excellent, unfortunately unlike previous weeks, we did struggle to get the ball on the boot a bit faster, and to take advantage of first opportunities when they were presented. Waitakere were always in it for the first half, with only a goal or two the difference, we needed to lift our game and score a few unanswered goals.

The third “premiership” quarter was not good for the Saints, we had the wind slightly in our favour, but Waitakere piled on the pressure, they really out-manouvered us, and we just couldn’t get good ball delivery up the ground and convert into goals. A couple of wayward kicks combined with a spirited Magpie comeback took us to three-quarter time with only a few points the difference.

Some stern words from the coaching staff at the break had the desired effect, and we set out in the last period with determination to put our mark on the game. We really got stuck into the competition, and gutsy efforts all around the ground meant we are able to get up by a couple of goals. We were then able to settle ourselves, keep the ball locked down, and maintain control of the game. The nerves were frayed though – and that final siren couldn’t come soon enough – when it finally did, it was a mixture of elation and relief. We’d had the perfect season, unbeaten in any game, we’d earned our place in the big Grand Final and for the first time in seven years we finally had brought the shield home.

by Matt Kemp, Mt Roskill Saints

Some photos of the game can be found here and here.

The Wells Medal for Best on Ground went to Tabe Voight, Mt Roskill