The Calder Cannons have stamped their authority on this year's TAC Cup finals series with a thumping 99-point win over the North Ballarat Rebels in the first qualifying final at Carlton's Visy Park. A ten goal haul in the final term saw the Cannons dominate play winning 25.10.160 to the Rebels 9.7.61.
It wasn't looking that way early however as the Rebels booted the first five goals of the match to catch the Cannons off guard, lively forward Jesse Palmer snaring three in a five minute blitz before adding another shortly afterwards; the Rebels taking a 21-point lead into the first break.
In the second quarter the Cannons began to get on top with the likes of Damien Cavka, Zak Wynhum and Josh Cauchi finding the footy through the midfield while Jack James and Victor Carboni tightened up in defence. The Cannons grabbed the lead nearing half-time and from there on it was all one-way traffic.
They booted 17 goals to one in the second half to obliterate the Rebels in a dominant display to progress to a preliminary final. The lone goal to the Rebels in the half scored by Palmer, his sixth, his form a positive as they head into a do-or-die final against Sandringham.
The Cannons firepower is intimidating. Peter Wright and Jayden Foster have given opposition backmen headaches all season and are keys to the Cannon’s premiership success. Foster, who took out the competition's leading goal-kicker award, finished with six goals while Wright had an intriguing duel with Rebel’s centre-half-back Oscar McDonald and although not figuring on the scoreboard imposed himself when needed.
Major goal-kickers for the Cannons apart from Foster’s half-a-dozen was Cavka with five, Cauchi four and Paul Ahern three, while for the Rebels Palmer was a standout with six.Better players for the Calder Cannons included Foster, Cavka, James, Carboni and ruckman Mark Kovacevic whilst for the Rebels, Palmer, McDonald for his work on Wright, ruckman Rowan Marshall and Sam Bennett.
The Cannons rest up before taking on the winner of the Geelong Falcons versus Dandenong Stingrays semi-final while the Rebels must re-group to take on the Sandringham Dragons in a do-or-die final.