It’s Business Time!
The 2014 SFL SAS Security Finals Series will commence this weekend for Division 1,2, U19′s and Thirds while Division 3 will head into its second weekend of finals action.
All Division 1 & U19's finals will be held at Springvale Reserve (Newcomen Rd, Springvale).
All Division 2 & Thirds finals will be held at Jack Barker Oval (Weatherall Rd, Cheltenham).
All Division 3 finals will be held at Heatherton Recreation Reserve (Ross St, Heatherton).
DIVISION 1- Qualifying and Elimination Finals Preview
with Good Will Hunter
After 18 rounds of hard, tough footy, the real stuff begins at last...
The 2014 Division One SFL SAS Security Finals Series starts this weekend at Springvale Reserve and although minor premiers Dingley have earned the week off, four very deserving finalists will duke it out in what is sure to be a terrific exhibition of Southern League footy.
Qualifying Final – Saturday 30th August
St Pauls V East Brighton
It’s fitting that last year’s Grand Finalists kick off the finals series as they have been two of the standout sides for the last few years. They have fought some epic battles in that time and this one will most likely be another classic.
A key battle here will be between the two SFL interleague ruckmen – towering Vampire Hamish Dahl and athletic Bulldog Andy Gilbert. Both teams have a bevy of outstanding midfielders, so any advantage they can get through these two will be crucial to their chances.
X-Factor Luke James was back to his best last week, and he looms as East Brighton’s biggest threat. His prodigious talent has been well documented, and if this Dog is let off his leash again, then the Vampires are in trouble.
St Pauls will go into this match as the in-form team in the competition, having not lost a game since round five. On that basis, it’s hard to go past them.
St Pauls by 17 points.
Elimination Final – Sunday 31st August
Cheltenham V Chelsea Heights
High stakes here. For the winner it’s a date with either St Pauls or East Brighton next week, while for the loser it’s Mad Monday. And with both sides looking pretty even, this could be a nail-biter.
A lot has been made of Cheltenham’s potent forward line, and they have done their job so far this year, with the twin towers of Chris Graham and Pat Nicholls combining for 88 goals. The Heighters defenders will certainly have their hands full keeping them quiet.
Chelsea Heights have had some mixed results in last the six weeks, but despite this, dashing midfielder Jordan Peryman and evergreen Darren Walsh have both been in scintillating form in that time. These two must again fire if the Heighters’ are to extend their season beyond Sunday.
Chelsea Heights have enjoyed playing the Rosellas this season, winning both of their clashes convincingly. However, I reckon if Cheltenham can get on top in the midfield here, they will exact revenge and book themselves a place in the semi finals.
Cheltenham by 13 points.
DIVISION 2 - Qualifying and Elimination Finals Preview
with Jason Barbin
As we head into the finals they're two clear cut favourites. But as we all know, finals footy is a different ball game and surprises are always around the corner.
Qualifying Final - – Saturday 30th August
Skye vs Caulfield (Jack Barker Oval)
Last time they met:
Round 5: Skye 10.12.72 defeated Caulfield 3.9.27 Round 14: Skye 17.6.108 defeated Caulfield 7.7.49
This match looms to be an exciting contest as both Skye and Caulfield taste finals action after both missing out last year. Skye will go into this one as favourites but as we have seen in the past, never count out the underdog and the Bears have shown enough throughout the season that on their day they could trouble the Bombers.
Skye has proven all season that they are the best defensive team in division 2 and over the last 6 weeks of the home and away season, they have shown that they can be just as deadly in attack. Full forward Luke Mcguinness is the key to the Bombers forward structure and after kicking 12 goals last week against Highett, he could not be in better form.
If the Bears are going to win this game they will need to rely on a running attack and attempt to break the lines through the middle of the ground. They have their own gun forward in Adam Connell who has kicked 47 goals for the season. Caulfield will also rely on the three Js. Butler, Buggy and Twirdy. These three have been among the best for the Bears all season and will need to be on top of their game if Caulfield are going to win.
Overall this could be a tight contest but if Skye get on top early, it could turn into a comfortable win.
Skye by 22 points.
Elimination Final – Sunday 31st August
Hampton vs Highett (Jack Barker Oval)
Last time they met:
Round 2: Hampton 9.19.73 defeated Highett 9.9.63 Round 11: Hampton 8.15.63 defeated Highett 7.9.51
These two rivals who once joined forces in the colts competition, now do battle in the first elimination final. The young Hammers will be eager to prove themselves finals worthy and will be hungry right from the start while the experienced Highett side have been here before, only winning the division 2 flag 3 years ago. Based on their previous encounters this game will be a close one. We have learnt throughout the season that the Dogs have the ability to come from behind while the Hammers started off the season slowly but as the experienced heads gelled with the young guns, the team started to play well and finally secured a finals spot.
Hampton are known for their run and gun style of playing, relying on quick ball movement up to their key forwards Brendan Bennett and Chris Worner who have kicked 69 goals between them. Midfielders Justin Isaac and Damian Armansin will have the responsibility of holding the midfield together while they look to unleash young gun Josh Burbidge who has performed strongly all season.
For Highett, they have relied heavily upon a trio of forwards throughout the season. David Velardo, Khaled Kandakji and Sasha Danilovic have kicked 101 goals between them this season and will be dangerous against a tough back line. Experienced heads Tom Brown, Jess Elms and Pat Singh will be relied upon in the midfield and off the half back line and will be responsible for providing veteran leadership.
Overall this matchup looms to be a tight one but the young Hammers will be eager for a win and with the aid of their veteran teammates, they just might hang on.
Hampton by 4 points
DIVISION 3-Semi Final 2 and Semi Final 1 Preview
with Andrew Paloczi
Semi Final 2 – Saturday 30th August
Mount Waverley v Carrum Patterson Lakes
The second week of finals action will be absorbing as Carrum Patterson Lakes tries to conquer Mount Waverley. These two teams have played two highly entertaining games this season, and Saturday’s semi final should go down to the wire. There will be added excitement with the Mountain Lions’ irrepressible James Gough only two goals away from a century.
Semi Final 1 – Sunday 31st August
Sandown v Lyndale
On Sunday, Sandown and Lyndale take centre stage. The Pumas will be pumped up after withstanding the pressure of a tough first final, and the Cobras will be determined to hit back after a loss.
Getting to Heatherton this weekend will prove to be a smart move.