By Liam Vertigan
In a season where South Mornington dominated all that came before them, it was always going to be an intriguing result to see who’d they come across for the ultimate prize.
Was it going to be the Moorabbin Kangaroos?
Was it going to be the Redlegs of Dandenong?
It ended up being the Hammers of Hampton who made their way into the big dance in September after snagging third spot and having to go through the elimination final against Dandenong and a cut throat preliminary final against second placed Moorabbin.
For the Tigers they will be hunting for their first senior flag within the SFNL and looking for their second flag overall after their last victory in 2012 back when they were in the VAFA. Going 16-1 on the season, is an impressive feat on its own, however South Mornington did what they needed to do two weeks ago against Moorabbin to get their week off to be settled for a much deserved Grand Final appearance. It could be a massive day for their big forward duo of Travis French & Anthony Giuliano who have over 170 goals between them this year and that’s something to be quite amazed at, as they have brought sides to their knees throughout the year and if one doesn’t get you the other one will, so keep your eyes peeled! Baker, McCleary & Dadds are other important players to keep an eye on for the Tigers as they look for premiership glory on what has been a stellar year thus far.
While for the Hammers, it is a bit of a story just to get here being a fabled division two side with an absolute ton of history, In 2022, they were struggling for players and now in 2023, with a committed playing group who have played a brand of football throughout the year capable of taking it up to anyone, with a premiership flag not out of their calculations, which they now have the perfect chance to add one to the trophy cabinet for the first time since 2010. With the Griffin’s kicking six between them and another eight goal kickers, we know that the Hammers share the load in front of goal. As we've seen this season, the Hammers like to share the sugar as Jake Cafarella along with Henry & Leo Grenville who are perennial ball winners and should have impact throughout the afternoon. While Madden Griffin & Levi Robinson have been top 5 forwards throughout division 4 booting 58 & 56 goals in season 2023 respectfully and should make their presence known. While brothers Jake & Guy Timms will also be lurking as the pair always link up well and use the ball cleanly.
After a three game home and away series it was decided 2-1 overall, with the Tigers taking the points. Round ten & 14 saw tighter results, with the Tigers by nine points in round ten and the Hammers by four points in round 14 in probably the game of the season in divvy 4 at that stage, which saw the Hammers hand the Tigers their only loss of the season so far.
You can almost assured there will be a lot of grand final nerves from both of these sides right at the start of the game and the team that’ll settle first will go a long way into winning the contest.
Going off form of the 2023 season, you have to stick with the Tigers on getting the job done and walking away with the premiership but never count out the underdog that has done so well in 2023.
Tip: Tigers by 19 points
You watch the Division Four Grand Final on Saturday from 2:15pm on Southern TV by following the link here: https://sites.clubzone.com.au/sfnl/livestreams