The trip to the host club Quairading Football club’s oval for the League do or die first semi-final between Federals and Beverley was a pleasant drive as the day provided near perfect weather. After a good home and away season by both clubs it would come down to this one game to see who would play again in two weeks and who would be having their jumpers washed and stored away in moth balls until next year.
Coach Alistair Smith stressed the importance of the day. As with finals, the tempo of the game steps up and players need to make quick decisions when the ball is under their control. As Federals entered the arena it was Cameron Lawler up front bursting through the banner displaying 150 games for the Club – a tribute to a person who has overcome a knee reconstruction to return to the game – well done Cameron.
As predicted the first term started at a cracking pace as both sides endeavoured to gain the early advantage, but both were up to the challenge and the quarter ended with Beverley scoring 3-6 to Federals 4-4, a lead of only four points to Federals. The second term was played in similar fashion with both sides unable to break clear by any substantial margin, as the pressure and speed of the game continued until the siren for the long break; scores Federals 8-4 to Beverley 6-8, giving Federals an 8-point buffer.
After the half-time address Federals showed more composure than their rivals by their positive use of the football and more decisiveness with their foot passing, which seemed to lift all players as they found more open space after being well held by the Redbacks in the first half. This resulted in Federals controlling most of the play, adding 3-2 to their total and restricting Beverley to 1-1, taking their lead to 21 points as the third term ended. The final term would be season ending for one club, while the other would have a two-week break waiting to see who they would play in the preliminary final and the game became a goal shoot out. Unfortunately for Beverley they were unable to bridge the gap as both sides scored 4-2, giving Federals another chance to advance to a grand final berth; final scores Federals 15-8 to Beverley 11-11, the winning margin 21 points.
Congratulations to Cam Lawler on his 150 games and Alex Moreno on his 50th game. Thank you to Stacey and Derek for a great quiz night and to those who worked at Bunnings last Friday for the sausage sizzle.
Awards: 1st Blake Robinson; 2nd Jordan Leeson; 3rd Jarraham Jacky; Coaches: Alex Moreno. Reminder: Preliminary final run by Federals at Henry St Oval is needing helpers. Medal Count: September 14.