A cut-throat Picola & District Football League final between Blighty and the Saints is being played at Deniliquin's Memorial Park on Sunday.August 15, 2014 3:00am
Deniliquin’s Memorial Park will transform into a cut-throat arena on Sunday as Blighty fights to keep its Picola & District Football League season alive.
The Redeyes are taking on a surging Berrigan outfit which is finally on the mend after an injury-plagued middle part of the season. The elimination final blockbuster, the climax of a big day of footy and netball, starts at about 2pm.
In a massive boost to Blighty’s chances, the Redeyes will welcome back twin towers Jake and Drew Plattfuss for the clash.
‘‘Injuries and players missing during the year meant we haven’t been able to get our best side on the park each week, but most players are now fit and ready to tackle the finals series,’’ Blighty coach Rob Wren said.
‘‘There’s no excuses. We’re looking to go as deep into finals as we can and we believe, on our day, we can match it with anyone.’’
The Redeyes and Berrigan split the ledger during the year, but each time both sides won was when the other was missing key personnel.
A strong second half of the season from Blighty saw the Redeyes finish in fourth spot with nine wins, while an understrength Berrigan dropped five games in a row to slip to fifth.
With several players returning, including running defenders Cam and Jack Mynard, the Saints have come good with two solid wins to cap off the home-and-away season.
One player the Mynards will need to watch is speedy wingman Judd Barnes. The reigning club best and fairest has been Blighty’s most consistent player in 2014, always using the ball well under pressure.
Gutsy onballer Sam Singleton, the Redeyes’ midfield barometer, has found some damaging form and will be another crucial element. He will lead Blighty’s midfield troupe in an important contest against Saints skipper Kyle Russell and ageing ex-AFL player Shane Crawford.
Star Redeyes goalkicker Brody Lumber will have support from big utility Keith Baron, a versatile player making his mark across half-forward. Their main worry will come in the form of stoic premiership backman Grant Martin, a former Deniliquin Ram.
As good as Berrigan can be, the versatility of Blighty’s big men should hold them in good stead, securing them a semi-final date with either Strathmerton or Tocumwal.
Selection: Blighty by three goals.
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