2ND SEMI FINAL
LINDENOW v BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG
Where is it being played?: Bairnsdale City Oval
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:15pm, Saturday August 31st
The two best East Gippsland Football Netball League senior sides will battle it out for a grand final position at Bairnsdale City Oval tomorrow. Lindenow and Boisdale Briagolong will renew hostilities in the second semi final, which kicks off at 2.15pm.
The Cats finished the home and away season as minor premiers with a record of 16-2 and haven’t lost a game since round 12.
The Bombers got off to a flying start, winning 12 games in a row before falling to Wy Yung in round 13 by 14 points in wet conditions. Since then Boisdale Briagolong won three of its next five with one of those losses coming against Lindenow by 18 points. In round seven the Bombers won a thriller by five points at Boisdale. The loser will play Wy Yung in a preliminary final.
In 2019, Boisdale Briagolong finished second and for coach, Josh Stubbe, it is pretty special to lead his side to its first finals appearance.
“It’s massive and it’s the first finals series that the senior side has played in 10 years,” he said.
“Our reserves have been thereabouts most years but to have the senior side featuring this year has been a big positive for the club. I suppose it shows the direction that we’ve tried to move on and off the field this year.”
Stubbe is expecting nothing less then a fierce contest.
“We’ve looked into Lindenow’s side as much as we can and they’ve got some really good ball users and ball winners,” he said.
“Luke Dyer is an excellent player for them and he will have some attention on him.
“They’ve also got some forwards that kick goals and looking at the weather forecast I expect this game is going to be played at a quick pace. At Bairnsdale there’s going to be plenty of opportunities for quick ball movement.
“The team that can win the inside ball and allow their outside runners to get first use will probably be the most damaging side.”
Despite going down by three goals at the Cattery in round 14, Stubbe was pleased with the Bombers’ performance.
“We were relatively happy with our game out at Lindenow and we were missing a couple of key players through injury,” he said.
“During the game we lost Mathew Goodwin early with a shoulder injury and we went in at half time two goals up and we were happy with how we were playing.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the job done in the second half as we were running out of legs and were down a rotation.
“We looked at how damaging they were in the last quarter with players like Luke Dyer and Darren Allen up forward.
“Key match ups is what we have taken out of that game and it’s something we need to get right this weekend.”
If the Bombers can limit the influence of Lindenow midfielders, Dyer, Justin Gould, Justin Blair and Todd Alexander, they will be in the hunt to book a grand final berth.
“The game is going to be broken apart if we can get our hands on the ball first and allow our wingers and half back flankers to get clean disposals and move the ball forward,” Stubbe said.
“I believe our forward line is one of the strongest in the competition and if we can get the ball down there and allow them to hit up on the lead and take clean possession, I think we can do some damage.”
Jordan Stubbe, the brother of Josh, tagged Dyer earlier in the season and will be tasked with the job again.
“Luke is an exceptional player and you can put a tagger on him and he’d still walk away with 30 possessions, he’s just that type of guy,” Stubbe said.
“With him it’s not all about limiting how many touches he gets, it’s about the impact he has on the game, not allowing him to get clean, easy touches.
“You just have to apply pressure to him at all stages when he has got the ball and hopefully have some impact on his possession rather than just stopping him getting the ball.
“He’s such a good player that you’re never going to be able stop him finding the footy.”
Despite losing two of the past five matches, Stubbe said his side isn’t worried about form.
“We’ve copped a bit of criticism for the way we’ve played the past five weeks but we haven’t been too worried about it,” he said.
“We’ve tweaked a few things such as trying guys in different positions.
“We were in a position where we couldn’t lose our top two spot so we made a few decisions to rest blokes to freshen them up.”
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