Border Mail Round 9 – Review

Heading into the home clash, the fifth-placed Demons were expected to easily notch their sixth win against the tenth-placed Dogs.

But instead an upset was brewing when the visitors led by four points at the final change.

In a tense final term big man Neil Irwin, Abe Wooden and Jesse Margosis lifted their workrate as the home side kicked the only two goals for the quarter.

With both defences dominating, Luke Hawkins kicked the sealer with minutes remaining.

The Demons defended stoutly in the dying minutes and now sit fifth with a 6-3 record.

“It was a lot more gritty than pretty, but we’ll take the win,” Demons coach Nathan McPherson said.

“I was pleased with how the boys dug deep when the match was on the line.

“Jesse Margosis really stood up in that last quarter.

“Credit to Jindera, they really had a crack.

“But we were able to respond where in year’s gone past we probably would have rolled over and got beaten.”

The Azzi medallist went down in the opening quarter and will have scans this week to determine the extent of the damage.

Tigers’ coach, Matt Rava, said Parr received a knock to his knee.

“He went to step around a bloke and had his foot planted and then someone fell across his knee,” Rava said.

“The trainer’s did a few tests but are unsure if he has torn his ACL.

“So he will have scans this week and hopefully it’s not too bad.”

The Tigers struggled in his absence with veteran big man Hayden Gleeson switched into the ruck.

Luckily for Gleeson, dual Azzi medallist Peter Hancock was missing for the Spiders.

Howlong were also keen to spring an upset to mark the occasion of Chris Van Zanten notching his 200 match milestone.

With its finals credentials on the lines the Spiders produced a spirited performance to trail by two points at the last change.

Ben Baker, Josh Garland and Sam Morrison were causing plenty of headaches for the visitors.

In a gripping contest, the Tigers were forced to dig deep to shrug off the challenge of their less fancied rival.

They hit the front late in the final term when acting captain Connor Galvin kicked his third goal of the match.

Osborne then put numbers behind the ball and defended grimly to hang on for a 12.9 (81) to 11.7 (73) victory.

Galvin was narrowly shaded for best-on-ground honours by recruit Brad Boots who thrived on a switch from half-foward to play across half-back.

Izaac McDonnell also racked up plenty of touches in the midfield with his fearless attack on the ball.

Adding further merit to the Tigers’ win, they finished with no bench after Mitch Wickham got knocked out after receiving a heavy bump.

The Tigers were also missing skipper Marty Bahr, Sam Rutland, Declan Galvin and Duncan McMaster.

Rava said it was important to rebound strongly after having their colours lowered against Rand-Walbundrie-Walla the previous week.

“The disappointing thing about losing at home last week was it put our top-two aspirations in jeopardy,” he said.

“We had a tough draw early in the season and set ourselves up fairly well to finish top-two.

“But with the tight nature of the competition any slip-up could prove costly in the final wash up.”

Osborne sit third with a 7-2 record.