SFL Finals Week 4
Grand Final Preview by Ben Harrison
Claremont v New Norfolk, 2.30pm Saturday at KGV Oval
THE 2015 SFL Grand Final is bound to be an absolute cracker as two tribes go to war to finally sort out who has their hands wrapped around this season’s SFL Premiership Cup come 5pm on Saturday.
The form guide suggests that New Norfolk - targeting a fourth premiership in succession and potentially sixth in seven seasons - is no match for the rampaging Claremont who have taken all before them this season.
However, on SFL Grand Final Day in September it’s a gallant tipster who would completely dismiss the Derwent Valley powerhouse. The Eagles will welcome back a host of stars for the grand final with the ageless Roger Belcher returning from a shoulder injury, Jarrod Horne getting over an illness and the “Weapon” Nathan Ross likely to come into the side after recovering from a hamstring. But the Eagles will definitely miss the on-field drive from playing coach Caden Wilson who will steer the ship for this grand final from the bench as he is out for the season with a broken leg.
One of the biggest tasks for the Eagles will be to negate the SFL leading goal kicker from Claremont in Sean Salter who currently sits on 95 goals and may well post his century on Saturday although it’s likely that Rohan Heron will have completely different view on that and the SFL’s number one defender will be looking to repel every Magpie attack he and his fellow backs can as it comes into the forward 50.
As good as Heron is, a lot will depend on who wins in the midfield and the Eagles will need to shut down the Magpies prime movers in 2015 William Leitch Medallist Nathan Brown and the silky skills of Scott Jones or the service and supply may just prove a little too much for the Eagles defenders to restrict.
The Grand Final sets up a tantalising contest as the reigning premier could reach the end of an era or will the big stage again prove to be too great of a test for the men from Abbotsfield Park.
Who wins? Well, the game should be in the balance till half time and then the week’s break may prove that Claremont could be a little fresher on the wide expanse of KGV and could run away to secure the flag by 26 points.
In the 2015 SFL U18 Colts League Grand Final, Claremont will take on Huonville at 9.30am and in the Reserves Grand Final Claremont will take on Brighton at noon. Gates will be open at KGV on Saturday from 8am.