Red Hill break long drought

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DIVISION TWO

Chasing a flag: Red Hill have upset Dromana to claim their spot in the Division Two Grand Final. Picture: Andrew Hurst

THERE was drama for Dromana this Saturday, as they stumbled to a shock loss in the Division Two semi final at Thomas Barclay Oval, with their Red Hill opponents winning their way to their first Grand Final since 1990.

The Tigers have dominated nearly every opponent during the home and away season, and were expected to claim a win over the Hillmen to secure their spot in the big dance.

Things got off to a strong start for the Tigers, who capitalised on Red Hill’s sloppiness in front of goal to take a 15 point lead into the first break.

After quarter time, momentum swung in favour of Red Hill, as they scored four goals to Dromana’s zero to claim the lead. Although they went into half time with the lead, their form in front of goal was proving worrisome.

Despite maintaining the lead, Red Hill continued to have little luck putting goals on the board in the second half. Having kicked six goals and 16 behinds going into the final term, there was a chance their wastefulness could cost them.

In the final quarter, Red Hill held strong and put on an inspiring performance. Defender Jonah Siverson played a manic final term, winning every contest and ensuring that the Tigers remained scoreless in the final term.

Siverson’s stunning last quarter heroics helped his Red Hill side to their most famous victory in 28 years, as they advanced to the Division Two Grand Final with a 6.9 (45) to 7.17 (59) win.

Red Hill coach Jamie Mollo said that he was “rapt” that his side would be breaking their long drought without a grand final appearance.

“We knew we had to provide  four quarter effort, which was really important to us on the day. We’re really exciting we’re into a Grand Final, we haven’t been in one for a long time. The boys are rapt but we’ve still got a job to do, so we’ll keep a lid on it for now,” he said.

Red Hill will enjoy a week off, although Mollo has already started thinking ahead about how to win the Grand Final.

“We’ll need to emulate what we did today. They’re a ripper side and if we can do that throughout the period of the game we can get the win as well, but we’re just really excited to  be there,” he said.

The loss was Dromana’s second for the year, having previously lost to Red Hill in round nine. They are not out of contention yet though, they will play the winner of Karingal v Langwarrin in a Preliminary Final next week.

That match will be at Somerville Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

First published in the Mornington News – 28 August 2018

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