THE Horsham Demons made a big statement in another strong defensive display against Stawell on Saturday.
After Stawell made a fast start, it was all Horsham as the visitors piled on the next 10 goals to set up a comfortable 16.13.109 to 8.7.55 win.
Demons coach Louie Dalziel said other than during the opening minutes and at times during the third quarter his team was in control.
“It certainly wasn’t convincing when Stawell kicked a couple of quick goals within minutes of the first siren,” he said. “After that we started to get our hands on the footy and we worked effectively.”
The side was also helped when Stawell’s Brent Tuckey limped off the ground with a hamstring injury. The big forward had kicked 14 goals in the previous three rounds and had already bagged one when he left the ground in the early stages of the match.
With Travis Graham already missing, the Stawell forward line suddenly seemed a lot less dangerous with Jeremy Hartigan also successfully blanketing David Andrivon. After kicking the first two goals of the game Stawell could not manage another for the half and trailed by 54-points at the major break.
The Warriors were on song in the third quarter. Four goals to one allowed the side to cut into the lead as Julian Carr became a focal point for Stawell on his way to kicking three goals. “I think they were going to him one-out more than they would have planned,” Dalziel said. “I think Alex Harfield did a good job against him.”
Horsham were back in control during the final quarter and managed to restore the margin to 54-points by the final siren
Dalziel said he would not read too much into the game as he expected Stawell to be a different side by finals time.
“I have no doubt that they will bounce back from that,” he said. “They’re still a very good side that will be right in amongst it in six weeks time.”
Jeremy Hartigan kept Andrivon goalless while managing to win his own ball on his way to being Horsham’s best on ground.
Tyler Blake played strongly at centre-half-forward for the Demons to finish with two goals pitted against the dangerous Jackson Dark.
“Jack Mentha also did a good job through the middle of the ground and Joel Geue kicked four goals,” Dalziel said. “To name individual though is tough because it was another team performance.”
Billy Lloyd was influential in his return to the club. Dalziel said the Toohey medallist fitted straight in and added something a little bit more to the way his side set up around the ground.
James Delahunty continued his strong form to be named Stawell’s best ahead of Sean Mantell and Tom Eckel.