Eagles tipped to make it four flags in a row

Great Flinders football preview

GRAND FINAL

UNGARRA hosts all of this weekend’s Great Flinders grand final action and with fine spring weather forecast, spectators and supporters alike look set for a great day as their sides strive for premiership glory.

This week’s games see a repeat of the second semi-final match ups and it’s fitting that the season’s best sides in all grades have reached the final Saturday in September.

Ramblers and Tumby Bay kick off the action in the Colts, Tumby Bay and United Yeelanna in the reserves, while in the A grade United Yeelanna will be looking to win their fourth grand final in a row when they go head to head with Ramblers, who are coming off a solid preliminary final win against the Saints last week.

A grade

United Yeelanna v Ramblers

In the main game of the day, it’s the well-oiled United Yeelanna machine chasing an unblemished season and premiership when they take on an experienced Magpies outfit.

The Eagles look a good thing in this one but rest assured, Rob Shirley would be working overtime this week to ensure his side is up and about to have a genuine red hot crack at the Eagles.

Ramblers will need to pull something out of the hat to overcome a talent-laden side but if anyone is capable of doing it, it’s the Magpies – especially in a grand final.

Tysan Mickan will be an important in from a fortnight ago, he showed last week how important he is to their side as a general in defence, and James Pedler has been outstanding in the finals series so far and will play a huge role at both ends of the ground.

As always, the midfield dual looks a ripper. Will it be the class of Xavier Watson, Casey Carr, Michael Crettenden and Matt Dyer through the middle that take control or will the experienced quartet of Rob Shirley, George Pedler, Wes Bilney and Scotty Blacker call upon all of their experience to get on top of the Eagles mids.

Yeelanna look to have a more potent forward line with Crettenden, Breed, Lawrie, Martin and Dufek all genuine goal kicking options, which will be certain to test Ramblers’ back half led by Mickan, Dennis and Ford.

At the other end of the ground, Kit Williams was instrumental last week and is a dangerous player that does not need a lot of it to hurt you on the scoreboard. He is likely to be matched up on by Ben Carr who is a resolute and dour defender.

The potential match up of Ramblers’ young gun Jacob Kennerley against the experienced Ricky Skinner will be another one to watch, as will the important ruck contests between Norton and Hall, who will both be key players for their sides.

The Eagles have not genuinely been troubled all year and in an ominous sign, have built toward their best form in the latter half of the year and into the finals.

You suspect that Ramblers will need to pull some surprises to get over them but, they will go in to this contest believing in themselves as only Ramblers do, and at the opening bounce, the game is a genuine 50/50 contest between 36 players that will leave nothing in the tank.

Just got a sneaking little suspicion that this game might just be closer than the general public think but still going with the Eagles to win their fourth on the trot and go through season 2017 as undefeated premiers – Yeelanna to win by 22 points.

Reserves

Tumby Bay v Unite Yeelanna

The Eagles bounced back strongly last week after their shock loss in the second semi, with a dominant display against Cougars.

Matty Haylock made a welcome return to form with a best on ground performance, while youngster Hayden Carey was excellent up forward booting five goals.

They are two key players the Blues will need to monitor closely, along with the classy Bradley Phillips, who is in outstanding form through the finals.

Kidney, Pobke, Schulz and Habner add to their depth and give them some experience and hardness around the ball, which will be required against a quality opponent.

The Blues will have relished the week off last week and will head in to this contest fit, fresh and firing after an excellent win a fortnight ago.

Veteran Chris Prime has had an excellent year and will be a major threat to the Eagles’ defence, youngsters Watson, Newton, and Butler give them some genuine leg speed, while the experienced and cool heads of Jefferson, Fleming, Calderwood and Southern will be prominent players across the ground.

This will be a great game of reserves footy, with both sides boasting plenty of talent and ability that will be certain to produce a spirited contest.

Tough one to pick, but if the Blues produce anything close to their performance a fortnight ago, they will get up and win in a close one.

Colts 

Ramblers v Tumby Bay

The Magpies will go into this contest as warm favourites after a solid win against the Blues a fortnight ago, with Tumby earning another crack at Ramblers after a workman like win against Cougars last week. 

Both sides have some outstanding talent. James Richardson was outstanding in the second semi-final and Jeb Nettle, Ryan, Walter and Forster are all talented players who will lead their side well. 

The Blues will look to their key players in captain Jackson Murphy, who was outstanding last week playing on the ball in a different role, and Jagga Cross, who was dominant in the midfield. 

The McDonald boys missed the second semi-final and will be welcome returns for this game, while Bates, Higgins and Degner will play key roles in their side’s quest for a premiership. 

Tumby are not without a chance in this game but based on the second semi-final result, going to tip Ramblers to win by two to three goals. however do not be surprised by a spirited performance from the Blues.

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