Eagles eye grand final

Great Flinders football

Second Semi Final action is in Lock this week, where sides playing will have the opportunity to advance directly to this year’s grand final.

Cougars and Ramblers kick things off in the colts, while in the reserves and A grade games, United Yeelanna and Tumby Bay go head to head in both grades.

COLTS

Cougars v Ramblers (10.30am)

This should be an absolute cracker of a game to kick of the days action, with both sides boasting some real talent with up to 10 players from both clubs that have been playing A grade football this season.

They have dominated the competition all season and look evenly matched following a close contest in the final minor round game of the year where Cougars prevailed by a couple of goals.

Jayden Gale, Connor, Dobbins and Haeusler will be important players, while gun forward Brodie Laube who has kicked more than 100 goals this season will be a major player that the Magpies will have to combat.

Jed Forster may get the role on Laube, and they have genuine quality in their mix with Jeb Nettle, Parsons, Langley and the strength of James Richardson all expected to be prominent.

This is a tough one to pick, but going to go with Ramblers with the return of key players to get over the top of Cougars in an entertaining game.

RESERVES

United Yeelanna v Tumby Bay (12.30pm)

The Blues snuck in to second spot on the last minor round game of the year, and will enter this game with plenty of confidence against a strong Yeelanna line up.

Both sides have some talented youth and also experienced senior players that will prove invaluable under the heat of finals footy.

Tumby Bay will look to their experienced onballers in Fleming and Smith to give them some strength around the contest, Watson has been in good form across the middle, Prime will always be prominent from the goal square and the likes of Butler, Richardson and Hammond will be important.

Likewise, the Eagles have some real depth – Haylock, Hancock and Lawrie will give them some strength in the air, and they have talented youth and run in Cafuta, Doolan, and Gerber, while Poke gives them some strength around the contests and will need to be watched closely by Tumby’s onballers.

The last time these two sides met they had a draw, so it is fair to say there is not a lot between the two sides.

Both sides will almost certainly be at full strength, so going to go with the Eagles to win a tight one, but do not be surprised by a Blues victory.

A GRADE

United Yeelanna v Tumby Bay (2.30pm) 

United Yeelanna will go in to this contest as warm favourites having remained undefeated during the minor round season, but they do come up against a talented opposition who will be keen to test themselves against the competition’s best side.

A real highlight of the game looks to be the midfield contest where both sides have genuine class in their mix.

The Eagles, led by Xavier Watson, Casey Carr, Skinner and Martin, have multiple options to rotate through the middle and their ruckman, Glover, is a genuine competitor.

He will be up against an in-form Nigel James, and a strong midfield in Hind, Lawrie and Franklin who have the strength and class to take it up to the Eagles’ onballers.

Their younger brigrade led by Murphy, Cooper and Hennell provide the Blues with some run which could be suited to the bigger Lock Oval.

However, the Eagles also have plenty of running power in Martin and Coombs who give them genuine leg speed.

Jericho has spent time at both ends of the ground but looks almost certain to start in defence, and will most likely line up on Blues’ big man Tom Kelly who provides his side with a big target across half forward.

Tumby may well go with a smaller forward line, but like the Eagles, they have been able to find multiple avenues to goal in recent weeks, and will need to work the likes of Carr and Dyer over to manufacture a winning score.

At the other end of the ground, Havelberg looks an imposing figure coming in to finals on the back of his 11-goal haul a fortnight ago, and with Crettenden and Dufek always dangerous offensively.

The Blues defenders led by Joe Walker, Losac, Cave and Lebrun will need to be at their best to limit Yeelanna’s scoring ability.

This looks set to be a good contest between two sides who should be at peak strength with no excuses from either side.

It is hard to go past the Eagles – they have been in sublime form all season.

Although Tumby will have a red hot crack at them, I’m going with Yeelanna to win by three to four goals and advance directly into this year’s grand final.