Friday, September 12, 2014

New Norfolk in triple-header grand final gala

GARRY WILLIAMSON previews tomorrow's Southern Football League grand finals.

SENIORS: New Norfolk v Claremont
THE Eagles will be looking to win their third consecutive grand final when they take on Claremont in a replay of last year's premiership tomorrow. It is expected to be a tough and bruising affair as both sides look evenly matched and playing on the wide open spaces of KGV should really even up this contest.

The Eagles will be fresh after having a bye last week, having easily defeated Lindisfarne in the second semi-final which was a tough affair. The rest will have allowed their players to freshen up, including some who suffered key injuries. Whilst the Eagles would be rearing to go, having played only one game in four weeks could be a bit of concern for their fitness. However, having completed the same mission for several years in a row it should not be a problem for the high flying Eagles.

Claremont had to do it the hard way. After losing the second semi-final it defeated Lindisfarne in a nail-biter. These good hard finals schedules should stand them in good stead for this tough encounter against the best side in the competition. It seems Claremont is yet to play its best football in finals as the Magpies still have lapses during quarters where they appear to go into take control of the game. Any lapse against the high-flying Eagles will cost them dearly on the score board in the grand final.

The Eagles' multi-pronged forward attack will cause problems on the wide open spaces of KGV and the Magpies defence will have to spoil hard all day. They must run off down the ground and take try to take the sting out of their players so they are not so fresh when New Norfolk is bringing the ball down into their forward line.

Claremont has experienced players all over the ground and after last year’s loss they have learnt what’s required to win the big grand final. I’m sure coach Excell will remind them that they need to play four full quarters, be competitive and stand up to New Norfolk from the start.

Whilst you would expect Claremont to come out firing and take it up to their more fancied rivals, New Norfolk as the fresher side will have too much firepower up forward. Now that New Norfolk’s defence has well and truly settled it should be able to restrict Claremont to a losing score and celebrate a third premiership in three years, but they must be at their best against a hungry Claremont.

RESERVES: New Norfolk v Claremont
NEW Norfolk and Claremont also clash in the Reserves grand final which would appear to be another close game as both sides have plenty of depth. Claremont will be fresh from last week’s bye after winning their second semi-final clash and would appear to have an advantage towards the end of the game if the game is close.

New Norfolk had a big win last weekend against Brighton and is the reigning premier from last year. Although they will start as the underdogs they have a habit of winning the biggies when it counts.

The wide open spaces of KGV will test both sides and the side that has the best skill and uses the ball more efficiently should take the points in what appears to be a very even match. In a game that could go either way, perhaps Claremont hungry for a premiership trophy may sneak over the line and claim the Reserves premiership.

COLTS: New Norfolk v Dodges Ferry
New Norfolk's colts are the third Eagle team to play in a grand final tomorrow, which shows what a strong club New Norfolk is. New Norfolk will be fresh from last week’s bye and full of confidence after a big win in their second semi-final. It should go into this game as warm favourites over Dodges Ferry.

Dodges had a nail-biting win over Huonville last weekend and this will give them confidence after playing on the KGV oval as well as momentum as they attempt to win the premiership. You would expect this game to be fairly even for most of the day but New Norfolk should have more skillful players and a potent forward line should see them win the premiership which would be a great start for the Reserves and Seniors.

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