Langhorne Creek grabbed the first ticket into the 2018 Great Southern football grand final

TOWER OF STRENGTH: Langhorne Creek big man Ben McLeod pulls down one of the many marks he took on Saturday in the second semi final against Mount Compass. McLeod was on the Hawks' best in the nine point win.

TOWER OF STRENGTH: Langhorne Creek big man Ben McLeod pulls down one of the many marks he took on Saturday in the second semi final against Mount Compass. McLeod was on the Hawks' best in the nine point win.

In the second semi final on Saturday at Goolwa oval, Langhorne Creek hung onto win by nine points after receiving a last quarter scare by Mount Compass.

The win catapults the Hawks into the 2018 Great Southern Football League grand final and it was set up after three great quarters of football.

There was a breeze favouring the southern end and the Creek took full advantage in the first term.

Langhorne Creek kicked 4-5 to Compass three points to lead 26 points at the first change. McLeod and Cleggett worked in tandem to nullify the brilliance of Hoban and Howell and Dominish were winning the stoppages for the Hawks along with Earl.

In the second term Mount Compass, like the good side they are, came hard at the Hawks and capitalised on turnovers in the Langhorne Creek defence. Michael Corbett, and Veide kicked goals to lift the Bulldogs, while the Hawks replied with one goal to Kellock.

At halftime the scores were Langhorne Creek 5-8 to Mount Compass 3-7. In the third term it was all Langhorne Creek, as they kicked away. Compass were held scoreless, as the defence of Derham, Nick Warren, Clifford, Rothe and Arbon gave nothing away. Lally, Ben Warren, Kellock and Howell kicked goals to open up a 42 point lead at the last change.

McLeod was dominating around the ground plucking marks at will and was instrumental in setting up the big lead for the Hawks. 

However, the Dogs did not finish minor premiers by giving up and in the last term it was all Mount Compass. Hoban took total charge in ruck and fed the likes of Veide, Davis, Pittaway and Schultz and this gave better ball to Pinyon, who broke the Derham shackles and booted three goals for the term. Add two to Parsons and one each to Ziggy Vitkunas and Pittaway and the Dogs were within two points.

What looked unlikely at three quarter time was now likely and it took Ben Warren to stand tall for the Hawks. He marked the ball with a couple of minutes on the clock, 45 meters out on an angle and coolly slotted the sealer. Best for the Creek were Arbon, Howell, McLeod, Derham and Matt Dominish and for the Dogs, Davis, Veide, Hoban, Pittaway and M Corbett played well.

The first semi final went down to the last kick of the game with McLaren knocking Willunga out of the finals race. McLaren won by two points. Inaccuracy plagued McLaren all day, as they kicked 8-18 to Willunga’s 10-4. 

Neither side could use the wind effectively with the margin being one point in favour of McLaren at quarter time, three points at half time and at the last change six points. But Willunga surged in the last term kicking two goals to hit the front. One to Beath and another to Martin and it looked like Willunga were going to knock out their neighbours. 

But hard work from Vandeleur, Gill and Ellis drove the ball forward where Mutton took a strong mark and kicked the winning goal. It was his sixth goal in a match winning effort for McLaren.

The big men Watchman, Mutton, Proctor and Lawrie stood tall when it counted and the likes of Bass, Ross, Altus, Alexopoulos, Hoffmann and Cook did their best for the Demons. It was a great game of football with McLaren winning their way to the preliminary final.

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