There will be no love lost on Saturday when Tungamah and Waaia do battle for premiership glory.By Matthew Galea
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That’s the opinion of Picola District Football League south-east minor premier-winning Tungamah coach Damian Payne ahead of Saturday’s grand final against Waaia at Rennie.
The Bears booked their place in the final showdown with a 56-point win over the Bombers two weeks ago and, despite a slow start in that game after a week off, Payne sees no reason to change his side’s approach.
‘‘Our game plan does not change against anyone compared to anyone else,’’ Payne said.
‘‘We want to play a contested style of footy and we think if we can play that against any side to our forward advantage, we can beat anyone.’’
Payne is certainly vindicated in that view given his side’s outstanding record this season.
A round 12 loss against Shepparton East aside, Tungamah has been unstoppable, winning every other game.
Lee James has been crucial in that success, booting 89 goals and Payne said he would be playing despite being in a moon boot at the league’s senior medal count on Sunday night, which Payne said was just a precautionary measure.
‘‘We were lucky enough to get through our last game unscathed, so we should be unchanged from the last time we played them,’’ Payne said.
‘‘They have some prime players, though, it’s always the same when you talk about Waaia.
‘‘You’ve got to make sure you can limit the impact of the (Sam) Richardsons, the (Matt) McCartys and the (David and Steve) Gilmours.
‘‘There is a great mutual respect between us, but like any game when it comes to the footy it will be an all-out war.’’
That will suit Waaia and Greg Meyland just fine.
‘‘We know we’re massive underdogs and we know it’s going to be a huge challenge,’’ Meyland said.
‘‘We wouldn’t want it any other way, though, and they’re probably expected to win by 10 goals, particularly after last time.
‘‘To be honest, we just need to win it out of the middle and get it up to our big forwards and put enough scoreboard pressure on them, which will be imperative.’’
The Bears’ side is certainly a talented one, but the Bombers aren’t short of firepower in their own right.
Mark Meyland, Luke Cowan, Brendan Stevens and Geoff Hopkins are all talented players in their own right, in addition to those highlighted by Payne and that was on show last time these two met in the second semi-final, despite what the final margin might suggest.
Waaia got off to a terrific start in the second semi-final, but a failure to take more of its earlier chances allowed Tungamah to overrun the Bombers.
‘‘They’re not going to give us any easy ones, so we have to take the opportunities we get,’’ Meyland said.
‘‘We have to be accountable all over the ground.’’
Meyland said Steve Gilmour would return to the side after recovering from a calf strain, but rated his own chances of playing as unlikely, courtesy of a broken talus which he felt crack again in the second quarter of last week’s preliminary final against Dookie United.
Brenton Low will go to two-time Pearce medallist Nick Doyle in the hope of limiting his influence on the game.
Meyland said there were plenty of sore bodies at Waaia, but that would only add to the challenge his players were already relishing.
‘‘We just want the side to play the best footy possible,’’ Meyland said.
‘‘We’ve been up there for the last three years and we just hope that it ends a successful year.’’
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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