Last Sunday, under clear sunny skies and in front of hundreds of supporters, the Hawthorn Spartans lost the Grand Final at Sportscover Arena, Elsternwick for the second consecutive year. After a bright start to the game with the two teams locked in a arm-wrestle, Old Geelong who were a physically bigger and stronger side slowly took the initiative away from the Spartans and opened up a small but handy lead of 9 points at half time.
With the Hawthorn Spartans’ not playing at their best, over-using handball and on top of mounting injuries in the third quarter, Old Geelong increased their on-ball pressure eventually kicking 4 unanswered goals in the 10 minutes before the last break.
Old Geelong’s unexpected 6 changes to their Preliminary Final side resulted in the Spartan coaching panel to re-plan on the hop so to speak as Old Geelong’s key player changes utilised the long kicking game to successfully stop the Spartans run and spread. In the end Old Geelong proved to be the best team on the day putting the Spartans away by 53 points.
Goal kickers: M. Wawrzynczak (1), G. Dellaportas (1), A. Demetriou (1), T. Demetriou (1), C. Armatas (1), J. Bartzis (1) Best Players: M. Murray, N. Criticos, A. Hachem, A. Stavridis, W. Ioannidis, J. Farah.
In the aftermath, officials acknowledged that the Spartans player group had a great season with enormous improvement in the players capacity to quickly adapt to game plans, which included many first and second year players making enormous progress in their fitness and playing abilities.
Unfortunately for supporters, families, players and many sponsors, the team just couldn’t get over the line. However, congratulations go out to the joint VAFA Club 18 Section 2, Best and Fairest winners: Nicholas Criticos and Con Terzoglou.
On a positive note, planning for 2013 has already started commencing with the Hawthorn Spartan Best and Fairest award on Friday evening 28 September.