Friday, August 22, 2014

SFL Finals - Week 1

Qualifying Final
Claremont v Lindisfarne – Abbotsfield Park

SECOND-PLACED Claremont will get the all-important home ground advantage with a chance to take on New Norfolk in next week’s second semi-final when they host the improving Lindisfarne in what should be a very entertaining and close contest.

Claremont were easy winters last week against lowly Sorell and they will need to play a lot better in this crucial contest. The Magpies lost one game all season, but tomorrow should be one of their toughest challenges of the year as the Two Blues have really played some great football the last three weeks and will be looking to cause a huge upset.

The Pies have been really solid in defence in recent weeks and this is where they tend to really strangle sides and frustrate their scoring opportunities. This is what they will be looking to do to Lindisfarne’s key forwards who have been in good form in recent weeks.

The Two Blues recorded a great win at home last weekend against Brighton and will be looking to frustrate their more fancied rivals into making mistakes and really work hard to lock the ball in their forward half, but this will be a difficult task on the wide open spaces of Abbotsfield Park.

Claremont has a dangerous forward line and players like Gillie and Hunt are capable of kicking multiple goals. The Two Blues will need to make sure they have their match ups spot on and not allow these players any space to lead into.

The game will be decided in the centre clearances and the Magpies have a wealth of experience in this area. Their strength around the contest with their bigger-bodied players should be crucial in the deciding game. Claremont has been one of the dominant sides all season and with a home ground advantage you would expect the Pies to be too strong but they will need to be at their best as Lindisfarne is playing its best football at the right time of the season.

Elimination Final
East Coast v Dodges Ferry
THE East Coast Bombers have the home ground advantage when they take on fifth-placed Dodges Ferry in what would appear to be a very close contest. Both sides look fairly well matched through the midfield and the side that can score early in the game should be able to put a bit of scoreboard pressure on their rivals which is crucial in elimination finals.

In a game that should be close for most of the day, the Bombers could have too much scoring ability and if they can break even in the midfield they should be able to generate enough scoring opportunities to win the game. However, a win by the Sharks would not surprise as their best football is good to match up with most sides.

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