PFNL finals: Demons book grand final ticket with win over Baldivis

Star recruit Kepler Bradley nailed five goals as the Waroona Demons ensured they will appear in their third consecutive Peel Football and Netball League grand final with a win over the Baldivis Brumbies in the preliminary final at Falcon Oval on Saturday.

The former AFL forward showed his class late in the game with three second half goals helping the Demons to the victory.

Waroona built a three-goal advantage early in the opening quarter and refused to relinquish it, leading from start to finish despite a number of late scares from a challenging Baldivis outfit.

The Brumbies managed to cut the margin back to just eight points midway through the final term, but a pair of goals to Bradley with an Adam Clancy major in between gave the Demons all they needed to progress to a grand final date with Pinjarra.

Rhett Mason got the party started early for the Demons, reading a stoppage to perfection and finishing from close to the boundary line for the first goal of the day.

Teammate Ben Wright wasn’t far behind, getting on the receiving end of some brilliant ruck work by Bradley and nailing one on the run.

Their early dominance around the stoppages continued when Mason once again made the most of some strong ruck work, snapping around the body to gift Waroona a 15-point lead at the first change.

Baldivis scrapped forward early in the second looking to land the initial punch, but it was Bradley converting for his first to help Waroona escape beyond 20 points.

The Brumbies finally got a response when Aaron Bowers booted his second and third goals, followed by a major to Kieran Lansdell to bring the game within four points.

Waroona's pressure was a feature on the day. Photo: Justin Rake.

Waroona's pressure was a feature on the day. Photo: Justin Rake.

The reigning premiers looked to have regained some composure on the cusp of half time but some outstanding work from Chad Wrigley and Rhys Bloxsidge gifted Waroona’s Alan Wilson a major, followed by Bradley’s second to restore the Demons’ lead to 16 at the long break.

Again Baldivis made the early push in the third but Waroona’s defence reigned supreme all day.

Matt Thomas continually cut off the Brumbies’ forward entries, with his intercept plays sparking a number of transition runs from mids like Jake Wilson and Rowan Gardiner.

Baldivis looked flat late in the term but a goal to Daniel Kimberley allowed them to slice the margin back to 14 heading into the fourth.

Mitch Dawson was outstanding for the Demons. Photo: Justin Rake.

Mitch Dawson was outstanding for the Demons. Photo: Justin Rake.

Brumbies coach Craig Hamersley implored his players to put it all on the line and he got an early response when Luke Robinson breathed life into their campaign.

But his efforts would go for naught as the Demons wrestled back control, with Bradley icing the cake on a preliminary final win.

The Demons will now move on to a grand final showdown with Pinjarra.

Waroona has played in the previous two premiership matches, losing both, and will be keen to turn the trend around this time out.

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