Latrobe’s ability to make the most of its attacking opportunities proved to be the difference in its 22-point victory over Wynyard to claim the NWFL reserves premiership at Latrobe Recreation Ground.
The Demons broke the game open in the second quarter and were able to slow the game down in the closing stages to secure the 9.7 (61) to 5.9 (39) win.
The Cats had the advantage of a helpful breeze in the first quarter, but could only manage 1.3 to the Demons 1.1 to lead by two points.
The Demons were not wasteful with the wind after quarter-time, kicking 5.3 to the Cats 0.0 to open up a 31-point lead at half-time.
The trailing Cats were able to close the gap to 25 points at the final change with a three goals to two quarter to give themselves a chance going into the last quarter.
The Cats threatened early in the final quarter and brought the margin below three goals, but the Demons regained control of the ball late in the game to claim the premiership.
Ben Blacklow was the Demons’ best and was rewarded with the Alan Broomhall Medal for the best player on the ground.
Alex Baldock, Brodie Deverell (three goals), Ethan Carter and Dylan Hardy played key roles in the win.
Darcey Brazendale was the Cats’ best and kicked two goals, while Ashley Verhagen, Jai Gardam and Mark Wilcox battled hard.
Demons’ coach Jeremy Smith said the premiership was redemption for his side after falling to Penguin in the 2017 reserves grand final.
“It is massive for our boys after last year’s grand final loss, we could have walked away and played for other clubs,” Smith said.
“But most of the team stayed around, did another pre-season and here we are again.”
Smith said his side learned from the Cats inability to take their chances with the wind in the first quarter.
“We were just able to make the most of our opportunities, Wynyard obviously started with the wind and missed a lot of shots.
“In the second quarter, we were able to break the game open and were able to take our chances to open up the five-goal lead, that was about the difference in the end.”