Forth created a piece of modern day NWFA history by winning back-to-back premierships for the firsttime since 1958, when they defeated Wesley Vale in Saturday’s grand final at Ulverstone.
Coincidentally, the Magpies also beat Wesley Vale almost 60 years ago to complete their only three-peatsuccess.
Premiers: Forth celebrate winning the 2016 NWFA seniors premiership after defeating Wesley Vale on Saturday. Picture: Cordell Richardson.
On Saturday they held off a second-quarter comeback from the Vale by responding with a six-goal-to-one third term before an injury-marred last quarter delayed their win.
With Forth leading by 33 points, 12 minutes into the last quarter and within sight of victory, play wasdelayed for almost an hour when the Wesley Vale vice-captain Dwayne Aherne collided with the boundaryfence and fractured a leg.
Unable to be moved he remained on the ground before being conveyed tohospital by ambulance.
In the shadows of the setting sun Forth played out the remaining 15 minutes to finish the season ona high, winning 14.10 (94) to 9.7 (61), in what was a 79-minute last quarter.
Forth’s Claye Symmons was awarded best on ground honours.
Earlier Forth hit the ground running with five unanswered goals before Wesley Vale’s full forward BenHolland put some respectability into the Kangaroos’ score with a major on the quarter time siren.
Kickingwith a breeze to the northernend of the ground, Wesley Vale started the second quarter with urgency.
MichaelLinnane had an early goal, then six-pointers from Ben Parker, Jeremy Walton and Holland (2) hadtheir side within two points of Forth at the main break.
In contrasting approaches to the second half of the season decider,Wesley Vale coach Shane Heffordcalled on his players for more of their second quarter endeavor, whereasForth co-coaches BarryClarke and Wade Symmons were concerned at the break down in team structures.
They made somepositional changes, most notably giving Josh Salter the task of quelling the influence of the Vale’s MichaelLinnane.
Kicking with the strengthening breeze on the resumption of play, Forth wrested control of the matchcourtesy of three early goals from their centre-half forward Todd Bryan and with growing confidence theMagpies’ running game was having a telling effect.
Wesley Vale’s possession game was coming unstuck andby three-quarter time Forth were in the box seat leading 12.10 (82) to 7.6 (48).
After the injured-marred last quarter Wade Symmons said his side had shown a lot of character in thesecond half, given the unfortunate circumstances that unfolded late in the game.
Wesley Vale’s Zachary Weeks kicks towards goal in Saturday’s NWFA grand final. Picture: Cordell Richardson.
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