Preliminary finals have been known to decay into one-sided thumpings, but few would have been expecting Saturday’s affair between Bracknell and Scottsdale to be all but over at half time.
Having lost to South Launceston by 86 points last weekend, there was a certain irony in Bracknell dishing out a 77-point thrashing of their own at the Bulldogs’ home ground after racing to a 45-point lead at the main break.
The Redlegs played the blustery conditions perfectly – harnessing the wind to aid their attacks and blunt their opposition’s – and advanced through to a third-straight grand final courtesy of a 16.9 (105) to 4.4 (28) win.
MORE PHOTOS: Bracknell oust Scottsdale in preliminary final
“We harassed and ran and did everything we didn’t do the week before,” Bracknell coach Gary Shipton said.
“We had contributors right across the board so it was fantastic to have the two-way running that we didn’t have last week.
“South highlighted that as their strength last week and that was our strength this week.
“If we dish up something like we did today (against South in the grand final) we’ll give ourselves every opportunity.”
The match began with a minute of silence as players and spectators alike paid tribute to highly-respected NTFA president Paul Reynolds, who passed suddenly during the week.
From the opening minutes Bracknell got on top and had kicked four goals by the time Lee Nichols pounced on a loose ball and weaved around an opponent to get Scottsdale on the board.
Nichols doubled his tally with the first goal of the second quarter, but it would be the Magpies’ last for more than two quarters as Bracknell rammed home its advantage.
Chopping off ill-directed balls down the line with ease, the Redlegs were ruthless going forward as Jake Huett (four goals) and Corry Goodluck and Glenn Dawson (three each) converted chances with frugality.
A last-term goal of the season contender from Dawson – a speculative mid-air volley from the boundary line - capped off a well-executed, four-quarter effort.
Scottsdale coach Geoff Mohr conceded it hadn’t been his side’s day and said the Pies would look to add depth in the off-season.
“To get to almost making a grand final, it’s a pretty good effort,” the rebounding defender said.
“We’re disappointed but being realistic we’re probably fortunate to get to the position we got to.
“You have a look at South and Bracknell - they’ve both got sides playing in reserves grand finals, whereas we were sort of scratching to get reserves players throughout the year so that’s where we’ve got to get to, trying to increase the depth at the club.”