Battle for finals spots

Another big round ahead this week, with some key matches on the cards that will have an impact on the finals placings.

Eyre United and Lock go head-to-head with the winner keeping their slim finals chance alive, while in dual matches of the round, Tumby Bay travel to Cummins to take on Cougars, and Yeelanna host Ramblers in a rematch of last year’s grand final.

Lock v Eyre United

Eyre United and Lock simply have to win to have any hope of playing finals, so supporters of both clubs can expect a tough physical contest with their seasons on the line.

The Saints were well in the contest to half time against Ramblers and will need to replicate that form if they are to overcome a competitive Lock outfit.

They will need to find some forwards to kick goals which has been a concern for them in recent weeks, and the surprise move of Jordan Telfer forward could be the answer – although his rebound from half back is important to his side.

They have players in good form with Fitzgerald, Neale, Hall and talented youngster Raheem Dorizzie all having strong moments of late.

Likewise, Lock were well in the contest against Tumby Bay to half time, but dropped away in the second half after showing determined spirit given their depleted side.

Levi Brown and Lachie Heath were outstanding in this game, and Tiller and Slape battled hard, but much of their chances this week will be largely determined by who they can get back in to their side.

If Morton, Britza and Northcott play, then they take on a completely different look and will push the Saints hard in a must win game.

Really tough one to pick, but going to go with Eyre United to win on the basis of the home ground advantage – Saints by less than two goals to keep their season alive.

Cummins v Tumby Bay

Tumby Bay travel to Cummins to take on Cougars who are coming off a week they will need to forget to get back on track.

They were put to the sword last week by an impressive Eagles juggernaut, and although they were well below full strength, it was a disappointing result for a side that has been in solid form.

A loss this week does potentially put them back under pressure to make the finals given that either Eyre United or Lock will win, but one would expect a strong response particularly if they have players returning.

Monfries will most likely come into the side as well as Cragg-Sappford and key play maker Brad Hazelgrove is edging closer to a return.

Konitzka and Paech were again their side’s best players last week and will need to be monitored closely by the Blues midfielders.

Tumby Bay will see the return of Hind from state duties, and Losac and Cooper should also be back in to boost their side.

They get an opportunity to stitch up second spot in this game, and with plenty on it for both sides, it should be a great game.

Walker, Edmonds and LeBrun have been excellent in defence, and Tom Kelly has hit the scoreboard in recent weeks across half forward, with his attack on the footy always important.

Bit of a tipster’s nightmare this weekend, and this game is no exception – based on last week’s results, going to tip the Blues, who appear a touch more settled, to win a tight one.

United Yeelanna v Ramblers

In this week’s match of the round, United Yeelanna host Ramblers at the Kooplex, with the Eagles coming off a season-high win against Cougars, while Ramblers will be keen to cause an upset heading into finals.

Yeelanna were nothing short of irresistible last week, thumping Cougars in a dominant display.

They managed to turn their goal kicking woes around kicking 33 goals in a massacre to win by 194 points, and with key players Watson and Carr to come back in, it sent an ominous warning to their opposition.

Ramblers were solid after half time in their win against the Saints, with Luke Rowe making an impressive return across half forward, and Shirley and George Pedler finding plenty of it through the midfield.

They have a massive job this week in curbing the influence of Yeelanna’s midfield with Crettenden, Watson, Carr, Skinner and Breed giving multiple options.

Ramblers are renowned for their disciplined defence, and Mickan, Sampson, Blacker if he plays, and Dennis will need assistance up the ground to combat a dangerous Eagles forward half with Steve Crettenden, Dufek and Martin all in good form in front of goals –  Havelberg also last week, booting six.

This should be an interesting contest – much will depend on who’s in and out for Ramblers, and the Eagles look like they are ready to put the foot down heading in to the major round.

You cannot pick against them at the minute, they will prove too good for a physical Ramblers outfit to win by five goals plus at home.