GLENROY is a Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division club after outlasting a brave Airport West outfit in Sunday’s Essendon Ford Division 1 Grand Final.
The Roys were hot favourites coming in, fresh from a week off and having taken care of Airport West comfortably twice in the home-and-away season.
But Grand Finals are a different beast.
On a perfect Windy Hill day, the Eagles stunned most of the pundits predicting an easy day for Glenroy, going toe-to-toe with the favourites all the way to the end.
Matt Walker kicked for the first goal of the game but the McVeigh brothers, who both starred, quickly responded to get the Eagles ahead early.
However, Airport West’s back line struggled to contain Adam Winter, who by quarter time already had three goals to his name.
Brendan Godden, the hero in the Prelim Final win over Hillside, again looked threatening on Sunday, scoring the first goal of the second term to put Airport West nine points up.
But Winter then combined with Luke Capuano and Reid Nilsson to pile on three Glenroy majors in what was fast becoming an entertaining and see-sawing shoot-out.
Glenroy was also super accurate in front of the sticks, going into half time with eight straight goals on the board.
Winter was tucked up against the fence in the bowls club pocket as the half time siren sounded across Windy Hill.
He slotted his fifth with ease, putting Glenroy ahead at the main break by only three points.
Any momentum that goal generated didn’t last, though, as two quick Airport West goals to start the second half put the Eagles nine points ahead.
Their intensity around the ball was immense, but Glenroy kept with them and seemingly always had an answer.
The next three goals of the game were all Glenroy’s, and by three-quarter time they remained ahead by five points.
After three quarters of free-flowing, exciting Essendon Ford Division 1 footy, fatigue set in for both sides as the Grand Final became a dog fight.
Winter, the division’s leading goal kicker and eventual David McWilliam Medallist for the day, again stood up, kicking the first two goals of the final term before Jayden Walker slammed through his second from 50 to put Glenroy 24 points ahead – the Roys’ biggest lead of the day.
Clayton Rogers, thrown forward as he often is, got one back for the Eagles but that was the last goal of the game.
The Eagles kept penetrating and peppering the sticks, but they ran out of time.
Glenroy was too strong, too efficient and too classy in the end, and the Roys now find themselves among the EDFL’s elite.
And deservedly so.
Goal Kickers: A. Winter 7, L. Capuano 2, J. Walker 2, R. Nilsson 2, M. Walker, J. Trembearth
AIRPORT WEST 12.10-82
Goal Kickers: J. McVeigh 3, B. Godden 2, R. McVeigh 2, J. Brown, C. Rogers, A. Penaluna, T. Young, B. Raad
Best Players: J. McVeigh, B. Godden, J. Brown, L. Di Sebastiano, B. Raad, R. McVeigh