CANBERRA had a tough opener to the season, while GWS Giants and Sydney split their results in the AFL over the Easter long weekend.
Demons go down in standalone opener
Canberra Demons kicked off their North Eastern Australian Football League (NEAFL) season over the Easter break, but unfortunately it was not a Good Friday for them, as they suffered an 82-point loss at the hands of Southport. The Demons were competitive early, trailing by 10 points at quarter time, but a six goals to two second term broke the game open, with the Sharks heading into the main break 35 points adrift. Another six goals to two in the third term ultimately snuffed out any chance of a comeback, before a tighter final term saw the Demons hold the Sharks to just two goals, while booting one themselves.
Tom Highmore was named the Demons’ best in the heavy defeat, while Lucas Meline, Mitchell Hardie, Kade Klemke and Nathan Oakes were also among the top Canberra players on the day. Ben Fulford was the sole multiple goal kicker for the Demons, while the Sharks had 12 individual goal kickers.
The match was a standalone fixture for the NEAFL, replacing their fixture on April 14. This weekend Canberra faces Sydney University at Allinsure Park, while Sydney Swans and GWS Giants clash in a curtain raiser to their respective sides’ AFL match.
Giants stand tall, while Swans shocked in Sydney
GWS Giants remain undefeated despite a huge scare from Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday. The game was marred early by shocking injuries to Tim Broomhead (broken leg) and Tom Scully (ankle), with both sides forced to use their reserve tanks for energy. The Giants ran out the game stronger after leading by just one point at the final break, with the Magpies also missing key target Darcy Moore for the second half, leaving them two rotations down for half the match.
Among the key contributors for GWS were Jeremy Cameron and Stephen Coniglio up forward, with the latter turning the game with two final-quarter goals. Others that stood up were Callan Ward, Dylan Shiel, Lachie Whitfield and up-and-coming star Jeremy Finlayson who picked up 23 disposals in his best career game to date. In the end, the Giants got home by 16 points with a 15.5 (95) to 12.7 (79) victory over the Pies.
The result was not as pleasing for Sydney, as the Swans were outplayed by the Power on Easter Sunday. Lance Franklin continued his fantastic form, with four goals from 15 disposals and five marks, while Josh Kennedy, Jarrad McVeigh and Luke Parker showed their experience when the game was hot, all finding plenty of the football. The next generation of Swans stars in Isaac Heeney and Harry Cunningham were also impressive, while Oliver Florent racked up 20 disposals. Their efforts could not get them the four points however, with Sydney going down 14.10 (94) to 10.11 (71) to a Power side that looked every bit a premiership contender.