Friday, September 11, 2015

SFL finals: Week 2 previewed

SFL Season 2015 Finals
Week 2 previewed by Ben Harrison

Second Semi-Final: Claremont v New Norfolk at Abbotsfield Park
WILL it be the might of the Magpies who have dominated the competition all season or will the reigning premier in the make its way into the biggest game of the season to try to pull off a fourth consecutive SFL premiership for the Eagles?

On paper Claremont will be fresher from the week’s break and look to have a really great balance of depth across all their lines. Two of the biggest jobs will be holding Magpie match winners Nathan Brown and SFL leading goal-kicker Sean Salter who has 95 goals this season, whilst Brown has kicked 53 for the year himself.

New Norfolk would normally look just as potent with Zeke Gardam and Caden Wilson having kicked more than 120 goals between them. But the Eagles enter the finals series without their key playmaker and reigning William Leitch medalist in coach Wilson who has suffered an injury to end his 2015 campaign. The goal-kicking weight will point heavily toward Gardam and Nic Clayton.

Most people would be leaning toward Claremont to win this clash at home, but it’s a gamble to write off the Eagles particularly if Claremont don’t pay enough attention to New Norfolk’s true finals “weapon” coming off a best afield against Lindisfarne in Nathan Ross.

Player to watch: Nathan Ross (New Norfolk)
Prediction: Claremont by 15 points.


First Semi-Final: Lindisfarne v Huonville at Anzac Park
IT’S all or nothing at all at Anzac Park in the First Semi-Final between two sides who should put on a fast, free-flowing game of football.  The Lions would be really confident following a really solid second half in their elimination final, whereas the Two Blues would be hoping to string together a whole game with the intensity of their first half last weekend against New Norfolk.

The Lindisfarne defence will have its work cut out for it trying to limit the scoring opportunities of Lamprill, Paul, Sullivan and Garth for the Lions, which is where the run and carry of the Two Blues on-ballers needs to be delivered for more than just a half this weekend.

Troy Cunliffe has had an outstanding year for Lindisfarne and he would need to be watched very closely as he also regularly gets the Two Blues scoreboard moving. If the forecast is right and the sun shines and the temperature reaches the 20s for the first time in many months this should turn into a high-scoring shootout to entertain the locals from Lindisfarne and those venturing up from the Huon Valley to support the Lions, who may continue their finals journey and just get the points.

Player to watch: Troy Cunliffe (Lindisfarne)
Prediction: Huonville by 9 points.

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