Edenhope-Apsley sweep up Swifts 

Football action at Natimuck Showground. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
Football action at Natimuck Showground. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Blustery conditions and an in-form Swifts side could not stop Edenhope-Apsley from marching into the Horsham District Football League grand final.

The Saints proved why they finished on top of the ladder as they swept past Swifts by 57 points at Natimuk Showground on Saturday.

Edenhope-Apsley coach Brian Cassidy was rapt with his charges.

He believes his side showed glimpses of the early season form that saw it win 14 straight matches.

"We shared the ball well and I thought we got a bit of our run back," he said.

"We were certainly running the ball better."

Edenhope-Apsley didn't get it all its own way.

Swifts put up a fight early, kicking four goals to one with a wind advantage in the first term.

Coach Paul Hanns was winning plenty of the football and kicked two goals for the quarter.

Edenhope-Apsley was unlucky not to score a late goal, with Addison Milner running into goal as the siren sounded.

It was a struggle early in the second term.

The Saints then found another gear, piling on six consecutive goals.

Swifts were struggling to get the football into their attacking end against the wind and managed a solitary behind for the quarter.

At half time the Saints led by 29 points.

With the windy conditions favouring one end, it saw both teams using a loose man in defence in a bid to negate the advantage.

Edenhope-Apsley kicked a crucial goal to open the third term through Dylan Vanzini.

Swifts responded through Julian Carr, which started a run of three consecutive goals to get them back within 17 points.

Saint Michael Crilly was able to break the momentum, kicking a goal to put the Saints 23 points ahead at the final change.

Kicking with the wind in the final term, there was no stopping Edenhope-Apsley.

The Saints ran rampant, kicking six unanswered goals for the term.

Vanzini finished with four goals, as did Saints assistant coach James Dixon.

It was Swifts' inability to score into the wind that proved costly in the end, managing just three behinds in two quarters when kicking towards the clubroom end of the ground.

Milner was a stand out in the Saints' victory, providing valuable run through the middle of the ground.

His brother Taylor Milner was also important, curbing the influence of key Swifts midfielder Scott Carey.

Owen Phillips was best for the Baggies, which fell at the preliminary final stage for a second consecutive season.

Edenhope-Apsley moves into the grand final, where it faces four-time reigning premiers Kalkee.

Cassidy said his side was now primed to try and end the Kees' dominance.

"If we get our match-ups right, we know we're good enough to win," he said.

"Playing this week won't hurt us and we'll take a lot of confidence into the game.

"We'll be hard to beat from here."


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