Finals previews, week two
By Gary Williamson
Second Semi-Final at Boyer Oval
New Norfolk v Lindisfarne
NEW Norfolk has the home ground advantage courtesy of finishing on top of the ladder by percentage. They host the leagues most improved side, Lindisfarne, in what promises to be a close encounter. Both sides have only lost one game each for the season and in their only encounter the Eagles easily defeated Lindisfarne and this will give them plenty of confidence and put some self doubt in the minds of the visitors.
New Norfolk have lots of experience and their quality players will have cool heads in the opening stanza of the game. They have an edge in strength around the stoppages and if they can win the clearances they should be able to create plenty of opportunities for their key forwards. The midfield battle looks fairly even but New Norfolk have plenty of big marking forwards and with medium size forwards who can also mark and crumb the ball.
The opposition will need to have their match ups correct to slow the home side's scoring. Lindisfarne may have an edge in pace and they will attempt to use the spaces of the Boyer Oval to create the loose man and they also have two key forwards capable of kicking multiple gaols. If the Two Blues use their press to really push up the ground they will probably get hurt on the rebound unless they man up more than usual. They should have learned from their first round loss and must back themselves to get off to a good start and put some scoreboard pressure on the Eagles.
In a battle of the league's two best sides perhaps the home ground advantage and an edge in class and strength should see New Norfolk progress to a grand final but the Eagles must be at their best as the Two Blues have plenty of fight and will cause havoc if they have room to run and carry the football and the big ground will suit their style of play.
- Mercury preview here
First semi final at Kingborough
Kingborough v Dodges Ferry
KINGBOROUGH get the all important home ground advantage courtesy of winning last weekend's elimination final when they host the improving Dodges Ferry who will hold no fears of playing on this ground after defeating Kingborough there early in the season. In what should be a really close game the Tigers are now playing their best football of the season and should have too much pace and fitness for the Sharks and advance to a preliminary final but should be very wary of a talented Dodges Ferry who are a really even side and will take their chances if they are presented and a win would not surprise.
Last weekend's matches
Kingborough v Brighton – Elimination Final
KINGBOROUGH kept its premiership defence alive when they easily defeated a disappointing Brighton by 61 points, kicking 25.11 (161) to 14.4 (88). Best players for a lacklustre Brighton were Chandler, Howlett and Willing whilst key forwards Martin and Tubb each kicked three goals but were starved of opportunities after half time as their promising season comes to an end under first year coach Willing.
Dodges Ferry v Claremont – Elimination Final
DODGES Ferry recorded an easy win at home over Claremont in the first elimination final, 18.12 (120) to 9.18 (72). Good players for a disappointing Claremont as their promising season comes to a closure were Bedford, Sweeney, Corbett and Arnold and key forward Newton kicked three goals but was starved of opportunities for most of the day.