Chargers claim premiership

After a slow start, Oakleigh Chargers dominated the TAC Cup Grand Final after quarter time to run away 47-point winners over Calder Cannons, 17.15 (117) to 11.4 (70)

The much talked about potent Calder Cannons’ line up suffered a blow before the bounce with ruckman/forward Peter Wright and midfielder Damien Cavka ruled out. Both had played key roles for the Cannons in the final series so far, with many tipping Cavka to be best on ground in the decider.

It was the silky smooth skills of Darcy Moore with his first possession that set up team mate Lachlan Waddell for the first goal of the match.

There were no signs of Grand Final nerves with both sides settling in early and a free flowing game ensuing.

It didn’t take long for Calder to respond, with TAC Cup leading goal scorer Jayden Foster exerting his presence in the forward line. His strong grab and booming goal from just inside 50 getting the Cannons off the mark.

The Cannons dominated the clearances in the first term, 16 to 8, and with their forwards putting the Oakleigh defenders under all kinds of pressure, they kept the scoreboard ticking over with goals to Roarke Smith, Hisham Kerbatieh, Matt Goodyear and another to Foster.

Oakleigh had three more inside 50’s for the term, but wasted their opportunities. A 50m penalty and resulting score for Josh Halsall keeping them in touch, but it was Calder that went into the first break with a 17-point lead.

Whatever Oakleigh Chargers coach Mick Stinear said at quarter time, it certainly resonated with his players as they went about a dramatic reversal of form in the second term.

Mark Pittonet got on top in the ruck as the Chargers evened up the clearances and controlled possession. Liam Kinsella was in everything and Tagan Carter-Taylor provided plenty of run, as a result the Oakleigh forwards enjoyed a much better supply of the ball.

It was a 7 goal to 1 white wash for the Chargers with Toby McLean, Mackenzie Rivett, Jordan De Goey, Waddell and Fraser Pearce all kicking goals.

Kerbatieh was a lone hand up forward for the Cannons kicking their only goal for the term. Mitch Conn was working hard in defence for the Cannons, but the Chargers solid team performance made them difficult to stop.

A booming kick from 50m by Daniel Houston after the siren put an exclamation mark on the Chargers dominant second quarter, giving them a 19-point lead and seemingly breaking the spirit of the Cannons.

Calder captain Touk Miller tried to inspire his team, with a brilliant intercept and goal to start the third quarter, but Oakleigh captain Darcy Moore answered straight back with a goal of his own.

It was a very un-Calder like performance that followed as the Cannons turned the ball over, missed tackles and made mistakes under the relentless Oakleigh pressure.

The Chargers capitalised, with a four goals to two quarter. De Goey, McLean, Kade Answerth and Alex Urban all went up another gear and the Chargers extended their lead to 36-points at the final break.

Through the best efforts of Miller, Paul Ahern, and Tom Gawthorp in defence, Calder started the final term with two goals, reducing the lead to 24-points.

But any thoughts of a comeback were quickly extinguished by Houston, whose beautiful kick from the boundary that sailed straight through the big sticks 18 minutes in to the final term, took all of the heat out of the game.

Oakleigh went on to record a resounding 47-point win, claiming their third TAC Cup premiership.

Toby McLean was awarded best on ground, finishing with 21 disposals, 9 marks and 2 goals, but Oakleigh had stand out performers on every line, with a committed team effort securing the win.

Top stats winners:

Oakleigh: Answerth 23 disposals, McLean 21, Urban 21, McKenzie 21, Beasley 19, Sinclair 18.

Calder: Ahern 26, Latham 19, Goodyear 17, Allan 16, Stillman 16.

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