By Alyce Collett
Healesville vs Upwey Tecoma
The sides have played three times this season, with the ledger favouring Healesville who have won two out of their three encounters.
On the line is a date with Yarra Glen (Jetstream) next weekend, and the right to play off for direct passage to the Grand Final.
Healesville coach Anne-Marie Ebbels believes that the competition is very even.
‘‘There will be no easy games,”
“Our fellow finalists can all win on the day, and any win will be hard won,”
‘‘It will be up to the players to bring their best and focus on playing their game and not the outcome.’’
Emerald vs Seville
Recent history is definitely in Emerald’s favour in this match, as they’ve comfortably won all three encounters between the two sides so far this season. Seville need to find a way to score, as some of their lowest scores have all season have come against Emerald.
Seville are not new to finals, as they are the reigning premiers, although this year they find themselves in 5th after an up and down season.
Coach Geordie Scott put it simply.
“We had six new girls coming into the team and then during the season we had Worawa asked to join as well so it’s been a learning curve in cultures,”
“Different school holidays meant we were short some weeks and had 25 other weeks,”
“That’s made it difficult for the new girls to get to know each other and the older girls have found it frustrating.’’
Semi Final 1
Emerald vs Olinda Ferny Creek
This is a do-or-die match. The winner keeps their season alive while the loser’s season is done.
The two sides have played twice this season, with each side winning one game each.
Emerald are coming off a confidence boosting 125 point win over Worawa, while Olinda Ferny Creek are coming off a much smaller seven point win over Jetstream.
Olinda Ferny Creek have had a bit of an up and down season to date. When they have lost, they have really struggled to score. They’re highest score in a loss has been 11 points.
Meanwhile, Emerald are in a good run of form with their last loss coming over a month ago. In the subsequent three weeks, they have conceded scores of three behinds, three behinds and no score.
Semi Final 2
Mt Evelyn vs Monbulk
These two sides have played twice this season, with the ledger at one win apiece. Each side’s loss in these games were their only losses for the entire season.
A spot in the Grand Final is on the line in this encounter. The Grand Final awaits the winner while the loser will play the winner of the Emerald vs Olinda Ferny Creek match.
Speaking about this week’s opponent, Mt Evelyn coach Glenn Burton believes that Monbulk have a number of players who can impact the game.
“Monbulk are a very very good side with a number of damaging players who are very well coached. They’ll be hard to beat but really looking forward to it.”
He also believes that the key to winning will be getting first hands on the ball.
“Winning it (the ball) out of the middle and getting first use would be a good starting point,”
“Keeping it locked in our own forward half would also help a lot,”
“Monbulk have quite a potent forward line who can score quite heavily so our backs will have to be on their game.”
Semi Final 1
Healesville vs Yarra Glen
The survival of each team’s season is on the line in this one. The winner stays on to play either Belgrave Black or Mt Evelyn, whereas the loser’s season is over.
The sides have had three close meetings this season, with the biggest margin being 17 points, and both coaches are expecting another close encounter.
As Healesville coach Jeff Hunter believes both sides are on par.
“We should be fairly evenly matched and would expect that the game will not be decided until the last quarter.’’
When asked about his team’s season, Yarra Glen coach Wayne Morris said that his side have had an inconsistent season.
“We have a bit of an up and down year and the competition is fairly even but the girls have finished strongly.’’
Healesville still have approximately seven girls from last year’s side that lost to Belgrave in the preliminary final.
Hunter believes minimising the clanger count and giving the opposition a head start will be crucial to getting the win this weekend. His counterpart Morris believes otherwise.
“The key to winning as always teamwork, although it would be good to hit the scoreboard early.’’
Semi Final 2
Belgrave Black vs Mt Evelyn
The two sides have met three times this season, with Belgrave Black winning all three. Mt Evelyn haven’t scored a goal against Belgrave Black all year, with their biggest score against the Magpies being a mere two behinds.
Belgrave Black have had the year to remember so far, as they are undefeated so far in 2019.
In terms of finals experience, it is a mixed bag for Mt Evelyn. There are a few girls who will be playing their first final, but some have played some finals in the past.
Mt Evelyn coach Chris Tesoriero believes that the key to winning this weekend is for his side to have contributors across the ground.
“We need all 22 of our players to have an impact whether it’s big or small.’’