By Jason Barbin
Semi Final week in Division 2 moves from Clayton to Power Reserve in Doveton as the blockbuster second Semi Final takes centre stage.
SECOND SEMI FINAL
Chelsea Heights v Keysborough (Power Reserve)
Saturday 9 September - 2:15pm
Round 2 –
Chelsea Heights 11.9 (75) def Keysborough 6.11 (47) at Keysborough Reserve
Round 13 –
Chelsea Heights 14.8 (92) def Keysborough 11.13 (79) at Beazley Reserve
This will be a fantastic game and it’s really hard to pick between the two sides, despite Chelsea Heights not having lost to Keysborough this season.
The question for the minor premiers is what have they done since they played their last game of football, all the way back on August 19, having had two byes in a row.
The other question is how much can Keysborough take advantage of the any slow start Chelsea Heights may have because of the extended break?
For Keysborough, can former captain Ryan Goodes make a return from a facial injury and can they nullify the Heighters’ power forwards?
All these questions will be answered on Saturday when the two sides fight it out for a spot in the Grand Final.
Beginning with Chelsea Heights, the big show Phil Smith is the key player to watch, having booted 60 goals in 15 matches to lead the league.
While Smith has been the focal point, club stalwart Phil Matheson is one of my personal favourite players and always dangerous as a lead up option while James Robertson and Matthew Baxter have enjoyed good years.
Through the midfield Nathan Herrington has been outstanding and is one to watch come League Best & Fairest night, while Jarryd Uren and Jordan Peryman are also dangerous.
The likes of Joel Williams and Michael Shaw have also enjoyed positive seasons.
For the Burra, they were well served by the Werner combination in light of the league’s second leading goal kicker in Chris Byran missing out.
Geoff Humphreys has had a fantastic season and is lively around goals while Daniel Morland continues to impress with his work ethic alongside Jake D’Atri.
With each side boasting key forwards capable of kicking a bag, the result of this game will come down to which midfield can with the slog through the middle.
Chelsea Heights by 10 points.
Tune in to 88.3 Southern FM from 2:00pm to hear the live call of this game, or stream the commentary on your mobile via sfnllive.com.au.
FIRST SEMI FINAL
Caulfield v Murrumbeena (Power Reserve)
Saturday 10 September - 2:15pm
Round 3 –
Caulfield 9.9 (63) def Murrumbeena 7.6 (48) at Murrumbeena Park
Round 14 –
Caulfield 10.8 (68) def Murrumbeena 8.6 (54) at Koornang Park Reserve
Another match that’s set up to be one to go down to the wire, these two sides have had some ripping battles during the past couple of seasons.
While Caulfield has had the wood over Murrumbeena during their meetings this season, Murrumbeena may in better form coming off wins in their last seven games.
In fact, the Beena’s last loss was against the Bears in Round 14.
So the big question is can Murrumbeena translate its excellent form into a win against a side that will desperately be avoiding going out in straight sets?
As we have seen throughout the season, Caulfield doesn’t rely on one big power forward to kick all its goals, instead relying on balance and sharing the load to kick a winning score.
Chris Dove and Tom Heagney are the Bears’ leading goal scorers with 26 and 19 goals apiece and both have been amongst the club’s better players throughout the season.
Jake Buggy was in good form during the Qualifying Final last week and will be another to keep an eye on, as well as the likes of Brandon Turner, Chris Lewis and Harris Lanyon.
Murrumbeena was able to scrape out a win against Skye in the Elimination Final, though it took one last heave to get the job done.
If the Beena are going to do the same on Sunday they need to play four quarters of good football and will need to be more accurate in front of goal.
That’s where Alaster Bradley comes in.
Murrumbeena’s leading goal kicker for the year with 29, Bradley was best on ground during the win against the Bombers as a focal point inside 50.
Captain Mitch Walder also chipped in with three goals after a return from injury and his leadership will be vital for his side.
Gun midfielder Jake Semmel was somewhat quiet against Skye, but don’t count on it happening two weeks in a row, and he works best alongside Chris Evans and Darcy Hargrave.
Two clubs will everything on the line will play one of the fiercest matches of the season and the result will no doubt be a thriller.
Murrumbeena by three points.