A STUNNING 11-goal second half has landed Milawa its first Ovens and King premiership since 2009.
It relentlessly crushed Glenrowan by 61 points in front of a huge crowd at Wangaratta’s W.J. Findlay Oval on Saturday.
Led by a best-on-ground-performance from star midfielder Jack Stamp, the Demons held a slender lead at half-time before breaking open the match in the second half.
They booted six goals to one in the third quarter before piling on another five in the final term to surge to a 15.16 (106) to 7.3 (45) demolition win.
Stamp won the best-on-ground medal for his three goals and a mountain of possession but he wasn’t alone in playing well.
Ray Ussher blanketed Dean Gladman, skipper Scott Pell held Tiger star Nathan Carroll to just one goal while Carl Groth, Nathan Hooper, Luke Sims and Scott Gardner all racked up plenty of possessions.
While Glenrowan was unable to finish off its fairytale season, centre half-back Rory Cunningham was sensational against Steve Williamson and Jordan Bradley, Matt Robinson and Nigel Robinson did not stop trying.
Milawa pulled a late change with Anthony McGuire coming in for Tim Lewis. He dropped back to the reserves because of an Achilles strain.
Dees coach Mick Newton sent Stamp and Groth to the goal square to start the game but the star duo soon moved into the middle of the ground as Glenrowan dominated the first 10 minutes.
Josh Hetherington was an unlikely first goal-kicker for Glenrowan before Milawa grabbed the lead when Lachie Cohen’s switch across the face of goal found Demon Ben Clarke, who had no trouble converting from the goal square.
Nathan Hooper then had his first real impact on the match, kicking truly on the run to allow the Demons to take a hard-fought eight-point lead into the first change.
But having completed a rigorous warm-up before the match, the Tigers were full of run and soon found their rhythm.
Carroll got the ball rolling when he converted after a strong mark before Mitch Potts won a free kick close to goal and converted to put the Tigers in front.
Stamp’s first goal put the Demons back in the lead.
But then a brilliant bit of roving from Jordan Bradley and clever snap saw Glenrowan with the quick reply.
Having kicked three goals for the period, the Tigers had dominated the term, however, Clarke again kicked truly to re-take the advantage for the Demons.
They would have gone further in front but for an errant kick from Brent Newton on the stroke of half-time.
A five-point lead to Milawa set up the match for a pulsating second half but the Demons had other ideas — they did what they had done to the Tigers just three weeks ago and served up a blistering third quarter.
Groth got the ball rolling with a sensational kick from 45 metres and while Gladman got free of Ussher to control the margin, the Demons were hot.
Newton won a free kick off the ball to extend the lead to two goals before Hooper’s snap from about 50 metres went through to give the Demons their biggest lead of the match.
Gabe O’Brien and Ryan Hussey added majors soon after and when Williamson got clear of Cunningham to land his first, the margin had blown out to 39 points and the match was in the Demons’ keeping.
At three-quarter-time, Tigers coach Nigel Robinson was quick and sharp with his players, saying they couldn’t afford to go down without a fight.
Matt Robinson’s contested grab and goal minutes into the final quarter showed he was up for a fight
But, Stamp’s two final-quarter goals then put the icing on a sensational cake for the Demons.
While Milawa ran riot and took charge at all the crucial moments, Glenrowan simply couldn’t put enough scoreboard pressure on the Demons, as the club — seniors and reserves — returned to the top of the tree.