WANTIRNA SOUTH – DIVISION 2 RUNNERS-UP
Home & Away: 11 Wins 7 Losses 1604/1285 124.82
Finals: 2 Wins, 1 Loss
Senior Coach: Matt Clark
Senior Assistant Coaches: Andrew Azzopardi, Sam Bates, Steve Teakel, Brad Hutchinson (playing)
Captains: Tim Lee & Brent Walker
Best and Fairest: Taylor Leggate
Many commented at the end of the home and away season and into the first two weeks of the finals that Wantirna South were the inform side in Division 2.
Following a victory against Bayswater in Round 15 at home by three points the Devils dropped games to Croydon and Lilydale to put their finals place slightly in jeopardy. However, in Round 18 Wantirna South were able to flex their muscle with a 10 goal to one first term setting up a 91-point in over Mitcham.
Key players for the Devils were firing and entering the finals they were looking in top form. Another fast start in the First Semi-Final saw them take a 4-goal lead into quarter time against Doncaster East. From there the Devils didn’t look back and dominated the contest to win by 61 points.
As the quarter time siren struck in the Preliminary Final the Devils had only conceded three goals in five matches over the past three weeks, and led by 4- goals against a quality Mooroolbark outfit. The Devils led by 4 goals at the main change as well before the game opened up with Wantirna South kicking eight goals to three after half time, winning their way into the big dance with a 49-point win.
The stage was set, having played weeks earlier Wantirna South will have entered their Grand Final match-up with Bayswater with a fair bit of confidence. The Devils set to compete in their third Grand Final in four years were ready for the fight, or so they thought.
In a tough game for the Devils, they didn’t fire a shot and were immediately on the back foot against a Bayswater side that came out swinging. Bayswater managed 11 scoring shots in the first term leaving the devils in their wake with a 40-point margin at the first change.
It didn’t get any better from there with the margin opening up beyond 100 points and the final painful blow tallying 107.
The Wantirna South on Grand Final was not the Devils side many had seen through the season. Whilst the Devils had been somewhat inconsistent during the season the club had never fallen out of the top 4 and managed to beat each other contender at some point during the season.
The Devils will bounce back once again in 2017, under the guidance of Matt Clark who will enter season number seven as Senior Coach.