MILAWA advanced to the Ovens and King league grand final with a 31-point victory against Moyhu in a preliminary final at Tarrawingee on Saturday.
It was a tight contest early with the margin just three points the Demons’ way at the first change.
Moyhu’s scoring opportunities were restricted in the second quarter as Milawa full-back Greg Packer and centre half-back Ray Ussher played dominant roles.
Milawa kicked 4.7 and opened up a 25-point lead midway but the margin could have been significantly more.
Four times they hit the goal post for minor scores and coach Mick Newton said they should have had a bigger lead.
The better showing by the Demons came from their dominance in the ruck through Jeff Whitehead with Brent Newton supporting.
Their Moyhu counterpart Anthony Welsh battled hard to match them and played quite well.
But the Demon pair took the honours which enabled their team to clear the ball quickly and effectively.
“We started to get on top and hit our targets better,” Newton said.
“Moyhu is a good side and kept coming at us.
“A couple of times they kicked two goals in a row, but we managed to get the next one.
“They threw it back at us a few times.
“We knew it was going to be hard because Moyhu had beaten both Glenrowan and Tarrawingee a few weeks before the finals.”
The margin at three-quarter-time was 28 points and it increased marginally at the final siren.
Ruck-rover Ben Clarke was rated the Demons’ best with plenty of kicks around the ground and capped off his display with three goals.
Bryce Mortimer played a crucial role as a tagger restricting Moyhu’s dynamic ruck-rover Ryan Craig to seven possessions.
Centreman Scott Gardner and Justin Keane on a forward flank or wing were other busy kick winners.
“Our onballers were really good this week. We did well in the middle,” Newton said.
Aaron Cheong, Jeremy Wilson on a forward flank, the wing or on the ball and midfielder Jaimon McGeehan played solid games for Moyhu.
Sean Gales was a constant source of drive on his wing and Ben Waite was an effective tagger on Demon prime-mover Carl Groth.
Milawa is back in the premiership decider after a two-year absence.
It made successive grand finals in 2009 and 2010 for a win in the first and a two-point loss to Tarrawingee in the second.
Newton says whoever they play it will be a tough assignment as are most grand finals.