First quarter lead sets up victory for Glenrowan

Glenrowan co-coach Nigel Robinson races to a loose ball against Milawa on Saturday. Picture: WANGARATTA CHRONICLE

Glenrowan co-coach Nigel Robinson races to a loose ball against Milawa on Saturday. Picture: WANGARATTA CHRONICLE

GLENROWAN has booked itself into consecutive grand finals after a hard-fought win against Milawa on Saturday.

The Kelly Tigers were the quicker out of the blocks, with a 5.3 to 1.2 opening quarter setting up their 16.11 (107) to 11.11 (77) victory.

The result was a reversal of last year’s grand final where the Demons took the honours, but Tigers co-coach Nigel Robinson said there was no let up throughout the day.

“We had a really good first quarter which really set us up,” he said.

“But conditions were a lot hotter than what we’ve been getting.

“And since I’ve started as coach, Milawa has been our rival and they never give up, so we had a tough day — I don’t think at any stage we felt comfortable.

“At one point we were up by 38 points but in the back of our minds we knew what they could do and could come back — especially with the conditions it took a fair bit out of the boys.”

After both sides had a week off, the Tigers will be glad of another extra week before playing the grand final.

“Both teams were fresh so I think that’s why we got that real heavy contest,” Robinson said.

“For four quarters I thought the pressure from both sides was the highest it’s been all year.

“Finals footy does that, but I’m glad we got the win and have next week off before the grand final.”

Joel Bihun was best on ground with his run from the wing, while Robinson said the Tigers’ bigger bodies made the difference though Tom Dunstan and Steve Williamson took strong marks and looked dangerous for the Demons.

“We had a bit more size up forward and down back,” he said.

“Joel Bihun drove us through the wing and was unbelievable, Karl Norman does the job every week and Chris Sussyer in my opinion was our third best on ground — those three really set us up.”

Brandon Ryan was best for the Demons.

“He killed us in the middle,” Robinson said.

“If we play them in the grand final he’s definitely one bloke we have to watch.”

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