Tough grand final decider

CONTEST: United Yeelanna's Brayden Martin and Tumby Bay's Brett Cooper in last week's A grade preliminary final.

CONTEST: United Yeelanna's Brayden Martin and Tumby Bay's Brett Cooper in last week's A grade preliminary final.

Great Flinders football

This week’s preliminary final between Tumby Bay and Ramblers in the A grade looks set to be one of the games of the year.

The same two clubs do battle in the reserves, while in the colts, Tumby Bay face a big challenge against Cougars who go in as favourites.

COLTS – 10.30am

Cougars v Tumby Bay

Cougars will be keen to rebound after a disappointing showing against Ramblers last week. They will need to put that behind them and focus on the task at hand which will be a Tumby Bay side with nothing to lose.

The Blues will welcome back key player Jagga Cross, and along with the talented McDonald brothers, Richardson, Higgins and Pople, they have class at their disposal which Cougars will not want to take lightly.

Jayden Gale and Brodie Laube will loom large for their side, and with quality players in Fergus Burns, Dobbins, Connor and in-form youngster Henry Turnbull, they will be hard to beat.

Cougars go in as warm favourites and should prove too strong for the Blues, but they will need to put in a much stronger showing than they did against Ramblers to overcome a determined Tumby side.

RESERVES –  12.30pm

Tumby Bay v Ramblers

The Blues were soundly beaten by a slick Eagles outfit last week and will be determined to put in an improved performance against old foes Ramblers.

Both have experienced players and given the strength of both backlines, this looks to be a real arm wrestle.

Prime was excellent last week making the most of limited opportunities, but he will need more support from Butler and Rogers who were quiet last week.

Ramblers have a solid defence led by key players in Blacker, Forster and Gontar who will make life difficult for their opposition forwards.

Fleming and Smith will lead Tumby’s on-ball brigade and play an important role at both ends of the ground.

The experience and class of Shawn ‘Bunga’ Fitz is certain to cause the Blues some headaches, as will the height and strength of Nelligan who was prominent in their first semi final victory.

Richardson and Wilson were resolute in defence against the odds for the Blues last week and the possible return of Modra will give their back half added strength against Magpies’ key forwards Kit Williams and Blacker.

Expect a good old fashioned slog in this one, but going to go with the Blues to get up by less than a goal.

LEAGUE –  2.30pm

Tumby Bay v Ramblers

This may well just be the game of the finals series as both sides have produced outstanding games in recent times.

The Blues were solid last week against the unbeaten United Yeelanna, and could have come out as winners in what was a pretty even game of football.

Mitch Lawrie made a big return to form in this game, and his strength in and around the contests will be important against experienced Magpie on-ballers George Pedler and Rob Shirley who are in good form.

Franklin, Hind and James add to an imposing and strong midfield group that will more than hold their own, and it will be interesting to see if both sides’ midfields play their own games, or play man on man at the clearances.

Pilgrim is a chance to return, and although under done, he will give them options on ball along with Sampson and Bilney who will spend time in the middle.

Traditionally these two never produce high scoring games, with both sides boasting solid defences; Walker, Cave, Losac and Lebrun have been excellent for the Blues, while Dennis, Mickan, and Sampson lead a disciplined Magpie defence.

James Pedler and Luke Rowe have been dangerous in front of goals in recent weeks, and they will need close attention from Tumby’s defence. Defensive midfield pressure will go a long way to determining the winner of this game.

Rees has been in good form for the Blues, Calvery should return as another forward option and Hind, Murphy and Lawrie are dangerous if they push forward.

This should be an outstanding contest and spectacle for football followers between two very capable sides that always produce – a real tough one to tip, but going with the Blues to win a tight one by under 10 points.