Who will have the last Roar??
After 21 weeks of blood, sweat and tears it all comes down to this weekend as Mount Waverley meet Carrum Patterson Lakes in the Division 3 Senior Grand Final.
The game will commence at 2.30pm at Heatherton Recreation Reserve (Ross St, Heatherton).
DIVISION 3- Grand Final
with Andrew Paloczi
Mount Waverley v Carrum Patterson Lakes
After a fiercely contested finals series, Saturday is the big one, and what a grand final it promises to be. Throughout the home and away season, Mount Waverley set the standard, losing only one game. But Carrum Patterson Lakes finished only one rung down the ladder, and twice applied tremendous pressure to the Mountain Lions.
The Lions were in with a shot at the Mountain Lions’ den in May, until Mount Waverley stormed home in the last quarter, turning around a five-goal deficit at the final change to get home by 21 points.
The round 15 meeting between these combatants saw an inaccurate CPL pipped by five points on its own turf.
The Lions broke through in a semi final clash with their mountain rivals, on the back of an outstanding last quarter performance from Joel Dalton, who slammed on four goals for the term to guide CPL to the grand final.
Mount Waverley had to do it the hard way, staving off a difficult challenge from Lyndale in the preliminary final. It is hard to imagine the Mountain Lions could be any better prepared for a grand final, after two tough finals in a row. The side will be ready from the first bounce and should be sharp and focused.
Whilst James Gough is a major focus point for the Mountain Lions, he is ably supported by some classy teammates. Joseph Rickard is another who knows where the goals are, and if he kicks a few, his celebrations are a treat to watch. Ian Taylor is a classy midfielder who can push forward and boot a major.
Taryn Dawson is a tough, skilled defender named the Mountain Lions’ best player in their preliminary final win over the Pumas. His courage saw him singled out for praise during the three quarter time address. Ben Beecroft offers plenty in the ruck and around the ground.
“There is a great buzz around the club and a lot of excitement,” said Mount Waverley president, Jay Cavanagh. “The boys are really looking forward to taking on CPL again and making amends for the narrow loss in the semi final.”
Cavanagh praised captain/coach, Jarrod Wilkin for his leadership qualities and his ability to “get every last bit out of the boys”.
He emphasised the importance of two wins against CPL during the season, and the confidence gained from a “great win against Lyndale”.
CPL comes into the game well rested after a weekend off so should be in good physical shape, but the team will have to avoid a slow start against a formidable opponent.
The Lions have an equally inspirational playing coach in Andrew Lucas, who gets plenty of the ball and uses it effectively.
Joel Dalton is hard to restrain, and Trevor March is a dangerous forward who was surprisingly held goalless in the semi final triumph over the Mountain Lions. In that match CPL had only three goal scorers and will need to find a few more avenues to goal.
Adam Lello brings energy to the Lions’ side and can provide moments of team lifting brilliance.
Chris Barr’s ruck work will be critical to CPL’s chance of success. Jordan Bertrand is capable of providing a spark, and was a major contributor in the Lions’ victory over the Cobras in the first week of the finals.
Trent Downie’s penetrating kicks and defensive rebound could be a major factor in whether the Lions can withstand the pressure Mount Waverley is bound to apply.
CPL president, Steve Barnes feels the two best sides for the season are playing off on Saturday. CPL has “worked hard both on and off the field to try and have every chance of success”, he said. “All involved realise it will come down to whoever is able to produce the best team performance on the day.”
It is a thankless task making a prediction in a game between such evenly matched sides, but Mount Waverley should just scrape home.
DIVISION 1- Preliminary Final
with Good Will Hunter
With one spot in the Grand Final still up for grabs, it’s time to find out who will take on East Brighton in the big dance.
Preliminary Final – Sunday 14th September
Dingley V St Pauls
At the end of round 18 it looked like nothing could prevent Dingley from claiming the 2014 Division One flag. However, a shock loss last week to East Brighton showed that it’s a completely different ball game in September, and if you don’t turn up completely switched on you will get taught a lesson.
It was St Pauls that inflicted Dingley’s only defeat of the home and away season with a 29-point upset victory at Souter Oval in round 13. That day it was Luke James who did the damage with six goals and given his impressive form over the last month he looms as the difference again this week.
Up the other end, Dean Francis is the key to Dingley’s chances. He will no doubt be smarting after being towelled on the big stage last week, so expect the big fella to fire up and put a few through the big sticks on Sunday.
But St Pauls’ biggest threat is the Dingoes’ quick ball movement through the centre. The run and carry from blokes like Walmsley, La Rocca, Luke Bartholomew and Tony Lavars breaks the lines and makes life difficult for opposition defenders. That’s part of the reason Dingley have been able to kick big scores this year and Doggies mids Owen Lewis, James Bragagnolo and Adam McIntyre will be in for a long afternoon if they can’t get on top early.
Perhaps the week off made Dingley a bit complacent against the Vampires but their loss could just be the wake-up call they needed. They have been the standout side all year and I reckon they will rise to the occasion and get the chocolates in a close one.
Dingley by nine points.
DIVISION 2 – Preliminary Final
with Jason Barbin
Preliminary final week is upon us and this contest looms to be exciting as two teams go head to head for a spot in the 2014 grand final.
Skye vs Hampton (Jack Barker Oval)
Round 1 Skye 11.8.74 defeated Hampton 9.7.61
Round 10 Skye 7.18.60 defeated Hampton 2.9.21
Despite Skye’s dominance over every side not named Mordialloc this season, Hampton are not without a chance in this game. If the Bloods have proved anything it’s that Skye can be scored against and a solid defensive effort can stop them from scoring themselves. Skye will go into this game as favourites and deservedly so but Hampton are coming off two very solid wins and three in a row is certainly not out of the question.
Both teams boast hard working midfielders. Skye will look upon Jim Martinson, Aaron Pacey and Matthew Doyle to provide them with run and carry through the midfield whilst the likes of Justin Isaac, who has been the best player during the finals so far, Todd Crane and Josh Burbidge will be looked upon to do the same for the Hammers. The defensive prowess of the Skye midfield has been a highlight for them all season and they will need to up the ante in the pressure department if they are going to stop the Hampton midfield.
Both teams boast very capable forward lines and their respective key forwards will need to lead from the front and get a strangle hold on their opponents if either team are going to win this game. Luke Mcguinness has been well held this finals series and needs to be unleashed if Skye are going to be any chance while Joel Hanlon could be the dark horse up forward for the Hammers.
This game is going to be a lot closer than previous form might suggest and while an upset is possible, Skye should be too good for the Hammers and should move on to play in the 2014 grand final.
Skye by 7 points