THE Murray Bushrangers (15.12.102) have charged into the 2016 TAC Cup grand final after a brilliant 44 point victory over the Oakleigh Chargers (8.10.58) during the preliminary final at IKON Park, Carlton on Sunday.
The Bushrangers’ conceded the first goal of the game and from that point, took control of the contest, kicking 12 of the next 14 goals to book a grand final berth against the Sandringham Dragons.
The first term saw Trent McMullan and Nick Richards kick goals after Oakleigh’ kicked the match opener. The quarter time break saw the Bushrangers’ lead by seven points. The pressure the Bushrangers’ were applying across the ground forced errors from the opposition and the pace and run of the Bushrangers’ were a highlight for the large crowd of supporters in attendance.
The second term belonged to the Bushrangers,’ with Todd Marshall superb in his marking efforts. Damon Hemphill kicked a goal following three on the trot from Lachlan Tiziani, which saw the Bushrangers’ bow the lead out to 30 points in 21 minutes of play. The half time scoreboard saw the Bushrangers’ lead out to five goals with superb defence and rebound from Ryan Garthwaite and Daulton Langland’s spring board to the midfield run of Fletcher Carroll, Isaac Wallace, Will Brodie and Ben Paton drive the ball forward with pace.
The third term saw Oakleigh’ open the scoring but Max Lynch in close to his best game, as the Bushrangers’ stretched the margin again after superb marking up forward complemented his grunt work in the ruck. The Bushrangers’ extended the lead to 50 points after 16 minutes with contributions from every player in the team. The lead for the Bushrangers’ at the last change saw them lead by 55 points, with a spot in the grand final within reach.
While Oakleigh’ kicked the first goal of the final term, the Bushrangers’ were able to counter when Tiziani kicked his fifth goal and then sixth to shut Oakleigh’ out of the contest. Although Oakleigh’ kicked the next four goals, Damon Hemphill added the icing to the preliminary final to see the Bushrangers’ win by 44 points.
The Murray Bushrangers will play Sandringham Dragons in the 2016 TAC Cup grand final this Sunday morning at Etihad Stadium starting at 11:05am.