FINALS WEEK 3 PREVIEW
It’s now or never for Highett and Keysborough as the two sides battle it out for the second spot in the 2018 grand final alongside Doveton Eagles.
Preliminary Final - Highett v Keysborough
Saturday 8 September - Jack Barker Oval
Highett 9.10 (64) def Keysborough 6.7 (43)
Highett 15.12 (102) def Keysborough 13.6 (84)
All the eyes will be on these two sides come Saturday and with a spot in the Grand Final on the line, it’s set to be a blockbuster clash.
While Highett has had the wood on Keysborough so far this season with two wins, Keysborough has been fantastic during the finals series thus far and will go into this game very confident.
The Dogs were blown out of the water by Doveton Eagles in the Second Semi Final and will look to establish some momentum early in the game to gain a foothold.
Although it will look for a good start, Highett has come from behind to win in its two games against Keysborough and will know it can do so again.
As with most games, the key to this one lies in the midfield and Highett’s midfielders are up there with the best, led by the likes of Tom Brown, Jack Prosser and Sam Jackson, who have had strong finals series so far.
Defender Nathan Scott could get the job on dangerous Keysborough forward Matthew Carnelley or Chris Bryan and he’s been a vital cog in the Dogs’ campaign so far.
At the other end of the ground, Ed Turner, Brett Collins and Mitch Hoar have been dangerous options throughout the season and spearhead Highett’s attack.
For the Burra, Matthew Carnelley has been their best player so far, booting 12 goals in two best on ground performances and he looms as the go to man.
After an ordinary run into the finals, Carnelley has burst out of the blocks and provides a dangerous option alongside Chris Bryan, who has taken a back seat so far.
Tom Anderton is another that looms as an important player, as the midfielder/half back flanker has provided plenty of grunt and ball winning ability, while Bryce Sutton has proven he can just as influential.
Aaron McIlroy and Riet Pal have also enjoyed positive finals performances so far, while the likes of defenders Troy Cullen and Jimmy Anwyl could get the jobs on Highett’s forward combination.
It’s hard to look past the Dogs, given they’ve had the run on Keysborough throughout the season, but the way the Burra is playing, their first grand final appearance in the Southern Football Netball League might not be too far away.
Highett by 10 points.