DEER PARK V HOPPERS CROSSING
By KRISTEN ALEBAKIS
For the second time in three years Deer Park and Hoppers Crossing will go toe-to-toe in the WRFL RAMS Division 1 Grand Final.
The Lions are chasing their sixth consecutive premiership, a rare feat in community football, while the Warriors are aiming to win their first senior flag in 14 years.
Deer Park and Hoppers Crossing have met three times this season, with the ledger at 2-1, in favour of the Lions.
Lions coach Marc Bullen said the playing standard across the competition had improved dramatically.
“Our record at the end of the season was 14 wins and 4 losses however we still managed to be ranked the number one offensive and defensive side at the end of the home and away season,” he said.
“Unfortunately we have had numerous serious injuries throughout the season with Ryan Houlihan, Bronson Booth and Jason Williams all requiring knee reconstructions, however we have great depth and so far we have been able to get the job done.”
For Steve Kretiuk the past 12 months has been a roller coaster, but says this group of players are the most resilient group of young men he has worked with.
“With the injuries and exiting players over the past 12 months it has really seen this group mature and unite to find a way in difficult circumstances,” he said.
“We had over half our regular senior players from last season either exit the club or have season ending injuries and to be in this position at the pointy end of the season is a remarkable effort for this young group.”
Bullen said everyone at John McLeod Reserve was feeling excited ahead of the big game.
“We have had a terrific preparation heading into this year’s decider, with the additional finals game under our belt this year we ready to go after freshening up during preliminary finals week,” he said.
“(To win) would be an historic moment for our football club. I cannot comprehend what the feeling may be like.”
Kretiuk wanted to thank the generous contributions by all those involved with the Hoppers Crossing Football Club.
“From our volunteers donating their time to help this club move smoothly throughout the season, to our generous sponsors providing financial support to keep this club viable,” he said.
“It gets more and more difficult each year with so many different football clubs and other sporting organisations around the area to generate the necessary funds needed, so we can’t thank our kind sponsors enough.
“To all the family and friends of people whether players, staff or volunteers who spend countless hours each week at the club to prepare for a game of footy, we can’t thank you enough for your loving support and empathy you show us throughout the season.”
Bullen wanted to thank the blue and gold army for all of their support in 2018.
“On behalf of the players and coaching staff I would like to thank you all for your passionate support throughout season 2018, we will need every one of you stepping up and supporting us throughout Grand Final day as we look forward to sharing this proud moment.”
DEER PARK – ROAD TO THE GRAND FINAL
|1||L||Deer Park 8.13-61 def by Altona 9.10-64|
|2||W||Hoppers Crossing 11.15-81 def by Deer Park 17.7- 109|
|3||L||Spotswood 11.10-52 def Deer Park 6.12-48|
|4||W||Deer Park 17.18-120 def Sunshine 7.12-54|
|5||W||Albion 10.8-68 def by Deer Park 19.16-130|
|6||W||Deer Park 19.22-137 def St Albans 10.6-66|
|7||W||Caroline Springs 6.8-44 def by Deer Park 29.10-184|
|8||W||Deer Park 16.14-110 def Werribee Districts 10.8-68|
|9||W||Wyndhamvale 2.5-17 bef by Deer Park 32.16-208|
|10||W||Altona 7.5-47 def by Deer Park 10.10-70|
|11||L||Deer Park 9.10-64 def by Hoppers Crossing 10.14-74|
|12||W||Deer Park 16.12-108 def Spotswood 6.10-64|
|13||W||Sunshine 8.9-57 def by Deer Park 23.9-147|
|14||W||Deer Park 25.25-175 def Albion 5.6-36|
|15||W||St Albans 7.5-47 def by Deer Park 15.19-109|
|16||W||Deer Park 11.14-80 def Caroline Springs 5.13-43|
|17||L||Werribee Districts 8.14-62 def Deer Park 4.16-40|
|18||W||Deer Park 35.15-225 def Wyndhamvale 6.8-44|
|Qualifying Final||W||Deer Park 13.7-85 def Hoppers Crossing 5.7-37|
|Semi Final 2||W||Altona 8.7-55 def by Deer Park 16.12-108|
HOPPERS CROSSING – ROAD TO THE GRAND FINAL
|1||W||St Albans 9.9-63 def by Hoppers Crossing 9.12.-66|
|2||L||Hoppers Crossing 11.15-81 def by 17.7-109|
|3||W||Caroline Springs 5.9-39 def by Hoppers Crossing 12.16-88|
|4||W||Hoppers Crossing 10.16-76 def Spotswood 6.5-41|
|5||L||Hoppers Crossing 9.7.-61 def by Werribee Districts 9.8-62|
|6||L||Sunshine 14.20-104 def Hoppers Crossing 10.7-67|
|7||W||Hoppers Crossing12.32-104 def Wyndhamvale 8.3-51|
|8||W||Albion 11.7-73 def by Hoppers Crossing 14.10-94|
|9||W||Hoppers Crossing 9.10-64 def Altona 7.11-53|
|10||W||Hoppers Crossing 9.5-59 def St Albans 5.3-33|
|11||W||Deer Park 9.10-64 def by Hoppers Crossing 10.14-74|
|12||W||Hoppers Crossing 16.17-113 def Caroline Springs 8.8-56|
|13||W||Spotswood 7.7-49 def by Hoppers Crossing 8.10-58|
|14||D||Werribee Districts 10.11-71 drew Hoppers Crossing 9.17-71|
|15||W||Hoppers Crossing 17.17-119 def Sunshine 7.4-46|
|16||W||Wyndhamvale 7.7-49 def by Hoppers Crossing 15.10-100|
|17||W||Hoppers Crossing 20.18-118 def Albion 0.4-4|
|18||L||Altona 11.6-72 def Hoppers Crossing 4.12-36|
|Qualifying Final||L||Deer Park 13.7-85 def Hoppers Crossing 5.7-37|
|Semi Final 1||W||Hoppers Crossing 7.8-50 def Spotswood 6.11-47|
|Preliminary Final||W||Altona 3.9-27 def by Hoppers Crossing 3.12-30|