River Murray football hit finals mode on the weekend, September 13-14, as the semi finals were played across Saturday and Sunday.
In the league second semi final Imperials over-ran premiership favourites Jervois by 65 points without the RMFL leading goalkicker Johnny Boras slipping on the guernsey.
Ramblers surge into the preliminary final against Jervois after the Roosters took care of Mannum in a hard fought, by 15 points.
2nd semi - Jervois 4.4 (28) v Imperials 14.13 (97)
1st semi - Mannum 7.8 (50) v Ramblers 9.10 (64)
2nd semi - Imperials 5.4 (34) v Jervois 10.15 (75)
1st semi - Mypolonga 8.13 (61) v Mannum 9.5 (59)
2nd semi - Mypolonga 7.5 (47) v Tailem Bend 11.7 (73)
1st semi - Ramblers 18.10 (118) v Mannum 0.3 (3)
2nd semi - Jervois 9.6 (60) v Mannum 13.11 (89)
1st semi - Imperials 10.6 (66) v Tailem Bend 5.4 (34)
2nd semi - Tailem Bend 11.7 (73) v Jervois 0.1 (1)
1st semi - Mypolonga 1.3 (9) v Imperials 5.6 (36)
SECOND SEMI FINAL
Jervois v Imperials
Warm overcast but blustery conditions greeted both sides ahead of the second semi final clash between the Bluds and the Blues with the victor advancing to the grand final in a fortnight's time .
The Blues were kicking towards the Adelaide Rd end of the oval at the start of the first quarter aided with a blustery breeze.
The Blues took immediate advantage at the start of the game and within the first minute Jacob Rance had pinpointed a pass to Will Crane .
From well outside 50 metres Crane calmly went back and slotted the first goal of the afternoon.
Dylan Hollitt, Imperials, was inserting himself into the contests early on and was a vital contributor in several passages of play .
Nathan Daish produced a superb tackle on Zane Barry and from the resulting free kick would have been disappointed with a minor score only .
The early minutes of the contest were physical and entertaining as both sides jostled for supremacy in the tricky conditions .
The Blues extended the margin when Sam DeMichele goaled from a free kick just on 30 metres out .
The Bluds then went into attack as Josh Noye and Joshua Woodall combined nicely however the Blues defence won back possession of the ball before coughing up a free kick to the Bluds.
The Blues defence being led by Tyson Wait, James Clarke and Ryan Farnham were repelling any attacks by the Bluds forward line .
Sam Butterworth further extended the Blues advantage by goaling from 25 metres on a 45 degree angle from the left hand side of the oval .
Sloppy defending by the Bluds saw Sam DeMichele tackled around the neck and rewarded with a free kick 15 metres out from goal.
DeMichele a noted forward made the Bluds mistake a costly one by goaling .
A sublime hand ball by Lachlan Marsh to Will Crane saw Crane deliver the ball to Aiden Morrell and Morrell then kicked the Blues fifth major of the opening quarter giving the Blues the dream start they had desired.
The Bluds had been outplayed in the opening quarter in somewhat of a surprise and at quarter time trailled the Blues 5.3-33 to the Bluds 0.0-0.
At the start of the second quarter Zane Barry drove the ball deep into attack but it was Louis DeMichele deep in defence who prevented the Bluds first chance on goal.
Quick hands and swift ball movement from the Blues allowed Gareth Williams the next chance to score but his shot was inaccurate.
Sam Mobbs then extended the margin beyond six goals when his shot into the breeze swung left to right before going through the centre of the two big sticks.
The Bluds got the quick response and their opening goal of the afternoon as Zane Barry was able to avoid a desperate lunge from Scott McMahon and kick truly .
The Blues kept attacking into the breeze but rued missed chances for consecutive minor scores .
They made amends for the minor scores when Luke Harrowfield combined with Hollitt and on to Jacob Rance and he then kicked truly .
The Bluds then went coast to coast clearing the ball from deep in defence and working methodically into attack where Joshua Scott was able to kick the Bluds second goal of the quarter .
The Bluds momentum continued as they won the centre clearance and Patrick Barrett wheeled around and shot on goal only to be denied by a desperate Louis DeMichele in defence for the Blues.
Hollitt then goaled for the Blues as a free kick saw him put to within easy goal kicking range.
With Matt Williams controlling the ruck it allowed the Blues to win the clearances and Gareth Williams displaying impressive skills into a strong breeze kicked truly .
A free kick for a high tackle to Joshua Scott of the Bluds saw Scott kick his second goal of the quarter.
At the major break the Blues led 9.7-61 to the Bluds 3.2-20.
The opening few minutes of the third quarter saw the majority of play on the outer side of the oval.
When the Blues did bring the ball to the other side of the ground it was Scott McMahon, finding Aiden Morrell then on to Cooper Anderson who then got the ball to Tyson Wait who had worked his way into attack.
Wait made no mistake and extended the Blues advantage to 47 points.
Sam DeMichele produced a mark worthy of mark of the day but he couldn't capitalise on his good work.
The Bluds defence was under immense pressure as the Blues forward forays continued.
A quarter of the way into the quarter the weather started producing intermittent rain and it became noticeably cooler.
A long ball deep into the Blues forward line saw the ball clear Sam DeMichele and into the awaiting arms of Hollitt who kicked truly.
Matt Williams, controlling the ruck, gave Gareth Williams first chance at the ball and the quick one two between himself and Sam DeMichele saw Williams kicking trul .
The Bluds could only manage one point against the breeze and at the final break the Blues led 12.2-82 to the Bluds 3.3-21.
The final quarter saw the Blues start with a 61 point advantage. It was now extremely overcast and cool and the breeze had gained momentum.
The ensuing conditions saw the contest develop into a somewhat scrappy affair with clean possession being hard to attain .
A strong overhead mark to Jamie Honner saw the Blues propel the ball deep into attack and a push in the back in the marking contest saw Sam DeMichele awarded a 50 metre free kick and he calmly went back and goaled .
The Bluds hit the scoreboard next when Scott drove the ball in deep and a free kick to Peter Zarantonello 20 metres out saw him kick the fourth goal of the afternoon for the Bluds.
Harrowfield produced a superb kick under pressure to Cooper Anderson to Sam Mobbs who was then flung in a tackle.
Somehow Will Crane was the recipient of the ball from the ensuing passage of play.
Crane a noted kick of a long ball then went back from outside 50 into a strong breeze and goaled with ease.
The Blues forward pressure has been a noticeable highlight of the contest all afternoon and in the end they ran out convincing winners advancing to the Grand Final in a fortnights time .
The final score the Blues victorious 14.3-97 to the Bluds 4.4-28 .
Imperial Goal Kickers - S DeMichelle 3 , D Hollitt 2 , G Williams 2 , W Crane 2 , T Wait , A Morrell, J Rance , S Mobbs , S Butterworth.
Imperial Best Player - S Butterworth , L DeMichelle, W Crane, S DeMichelle, N Daish , M Williams.
Jervois Goal Kickers - J Scott 2 , Z Barry , M Noye .
Jervois Best Players - J Scott , P Barrett , H Barnett , Z Barry ,M Noye .
FIRST SEMI FINAL
Mannum v Ramblers
Ramblers ended Mannum's 2020 season with a solid 14 point win at Johnstone Park on Sunday.
Although Mannum hit the lead midway through the lest term, Ramblers finished better, kicking the last 3 goals of the game for a deserved victory.
In a low scoring game, Ramblers were able to find avenues to goal late in the game, whereas Mannum struggled all day to find a reliable target ahead of centre.
Mannum had first use of a slight breeze, favouring the town end, but were unable to capitalize, with Ramblers outscoring them in the first quarter.
Ramblers got a break when Rhys Bullard was sent off for ten minutes, halting a Mannum attack, and giving Tyson Baker a shot at goal, which he converted.
A clever tap on by a team-mate resulted in a goal to Clint Walker, and Ramblers were off to an excellent start.
Mannum took 11 minutes to break through with a long goal to Blake Tabe, but Ramblers defence was well on top, and they added another goal through the busy Aaron Pratt to give them an 11 point lead at the first break.
Mannum opened well in the second term, but Ramblers backmen were reading the play well, with well judged intercept marks cutting off Mannum attacks.
However, Mannum got the first goal of the term through second game player Declan Gladigau, who got his toe to the ball in the square, reducing the margin to 6 points.
This seemed to spur Ramblers and they did all the attacking, but missed a couple of opportunites before Malcolm Aston goaled.
Mannum were under huge pressure, but their defence, led, as always by Michael O'Malley, held firm, with Ramblers 14 points in front at half-time.
The breeze had noticeably strengthened after half-time, and Mannum had to make good use of it to have any chance.They were attacking strongly and Liam Newton's interception of a clearance and handball to Zakk Bullard resulted in a long goal.
From the bounce Mannum's Lachlan Smith broke clear, and passed perfectly to the lead of Jack Woollard, and the Roos were within a point.
Another miss levelled the scores, and when Mitchell Heward marked the kickoff and booted a long goal, the Roos hit the lead for the first time.
This was increased when they went in again from the bounce, and Smith kicked truly around his body.
At the last break, Mannum held an 11 point lead, with Ramblers having last use of a now useful breeze.
After an early miss, Ramblers' scored after a strong mark from Sam Pfeiffer, and the margin was only 4 points.
They went in again from the bounce, to goal again and Ramblers were in front and the momentum was all their way.
Mannum regained the lead when Smith marked close to goal, but Ramblers immediately replied and were not headed again.
Mannum had thrown O'Malley into ruck, a calculated risk, to generate some drive, but the result was to weaken the defence, with Sam Pfeiffer taking some strong marks to finish with 4 goals and Ramblers ran the game out well to get home by 14 points.
Ramblers now take on Jervois, who were stunned by Imperials on Saturday, with a grand final spot at stake. Mannum, after a vast improvement on 2019, can begin planning for next year.