Coaches corner – DINO’S DELIVER ON PREMIERSHIP PROMISE
By Peter Harrison
The De La Dino’s went wire-to-wire Sunday in the Grand Final to capture their second ever Premiership with a comprehensive 44 point victory.
Putting an undefeated season on the line, the Dino’s engaged in a tense first half battle which saw the boys hold an eight point advantage at the main break. The early conditions were less than ideal, with the ground still drying out in many areas.
The midfield (led by David Spithill, Iggy Tran and Paul Farmer), banged in hard from the beginning, resulting in repeat entries into our forward 50. Chris Knight made a huge impact when he applied a heavy bump to the Craigieburn ruckman, cutting short the opposition big man’s day.
Whilst the Dino’s played an honest first half, one couldn’t help but feel we were short changed for scoreboard pressure.
At the half time break the players took on board the message to run harder and use the corridor at all costs, much like we had done throughout the year. The Premiership quarter saw the Dino’s take the game on and apply pressure which the opposition simply could not withstand.
With the back line lead by BC, Mackintosh, Liascos, Marks and co. holding their opponents well and truly in check, the forward line came into its own with Mercuri, Palmer and Castricum putting the score on the board. Only a very late goal from a dodgy free kick on the three quarter time siren reduced the Dino’s lead to 24 points at the final turn.
During the last break the players came together knowing they were 20 minutes from achieving the ultimate glory. Some instructions and uplifting words from Captain Philla set the tone for what was about to unfold.
In no uncertain terms the Dino’s put paid to Craigieburn in fitting style with run, carry and some slick ball movement! The final margin of 44 points was befitting of the effort which all the players had given during the course of the year.
The Dino’s congratulate Craigieburn on a great year. They were a worthy grand final opponent who ran into a team which was simply too good on the day.
Chris Mercuri was awarded the ‘Norm Smith’ as best on ground for a consistent four quarter performance.
On behalf of the Dino’s, we thank all the players’ respective partners and wives for their ongoing support, because without such understanding the Dino’s wouldn’t exist.
Many, many, many thanks to De La Salle President Brian Waldron, whose ongoing support is greatly appreciated. We also acknowledge the De La Salle Committee who works so tirelessly for us and the whole Club.
To ALL the players who played during the course of the season I thank you for your commitment, support, mateship and help during the course of the year.
To Stu Mac who shows up every week and does everything for the boys, we are always grateful for your presence.
Thanks to Richo & Wadds (who unfortunately got injured) for working the magnets during the course of the season, and making some inspired moves in the course of the finals!!!
To Kinna – who waves the flags at every home game – your assistance is much appreciated mate.
To the very unfortunate players who didn’t play in the Grand Final – Al, Freo, Gus, Tony & Wadds, today’s success was as much yours as anyone else.
We also thank Malvern Auto Tech – the world’s best team sponsor!!
FINALLY – thank you to the wider De La Salle community who have embraced the Dino’s during the course of the year. Since Sunday the team has been received an enormous amount of support and cheer from everyone at the club. Unquestionably, we will be back bigger and better next year to do it all again!!!
PLEASE NOTE: The inscription on the Premiership Cup we received read Central Premiership Winners “De Sa Salle”
Final scores: De La Dino’s 10.11.71 defeated Craigieburn 4.3.27