Fleta Page August 20, 2012
Eastlake found the form it has been missing recently, demolishing the Hills Eagles in a dominant third quarter at Manuka Oval to notch a five-goal win and secure a home final next weekend.
The Demons came back from a four-goal deficit at half-time by kicking eight goals to none in the third quarter to set yesterday's the win, with Sam Mardling kicking five goals for the match for Eastlake.
''There was a bit riding on it, we'd struggled for the last month or so,'' coach Anthony Bourke said.
A recent run of losses saw Eastlake fall from the top of the ladder to fourth. The win ensured it didn't drop to fifth and secured the home fixture for next week's elimination final, where it will meet the Eagles again.
Eagles coach Glenn Garner put the loss into context.
''It would have been nice to win, but it's not the one you have to win,'' he said, noting there would be some changes made before the teams met this weekend.
''We've got a couple of guys who were pretty ordinary and will probably go out, more than likely.''
Meanwhile, Bourke said confidence levels within his side had been slowly building for a few weeks, and it all came together in the third quarter.
''It just takes a couple of things to click when the game's going for it to really sink in,'' Bourke said.
''In the [third] quarter there were about six tackles laid on the 50 and a quick kick out of the pack, which fortuitously bounced through for a goal and I think that highlighted the fact that, yeah, the goal might have been a bit flukey, but the work done beforehand you get rewarded for.''
But Bourke was wary of the need to prepare for anything, despite high confidence levels ahead of playing the same team next week.
''Momentum and enthusiasm is easy to nip in the bud, so we have to make sure that we're a bit resilient when the ball bounces against us, too,'' he said.
In other games, Ainslie defeated Sydney University and Queanbeyan defeated Tuggeranong, both with 11-goal margins.
The win sealed a bye next week for top-of-the-table Queanbeyan, while Ainslie will travel to Sydney to take on the Swans reserves in the qualifying final.