HILL END v MIRBOO NORTH
Where is it being played?: Newborough Rec Reserve
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:35pm, Saturday August 31st
Only a fortnight ago, Hill End manufactured one of the clubs great victories when they defeated Mirboo North by just two points.
The Rovers on that occasion made the most of their opportunities, some of which were gifted to them by the Tigers lack of discipline, Mirboo North coach Josh Taylor stating at the time “we need to look at the way we act on the football field, …if we have twenty one guys who work for each other and play for each other and stay disciplined I know we are right there with the best”
Nothing truer could have been said, the Tigers victory over Morwell East, highlighting what the Tigers are capable of when they put it altogether.
Hill End have been the “story” of the season, their efforts to win a qualifying final and have the opportunity to take a short cut to the 2019 MGFL grand final has been full of merit.
Even in their loss to the Bombers last week, their were signs that “if things went their way” the pressure placed on the ladder leaders could have been enough to allow Hill End to steal a victory against the odds.
The Rovers play an entertaining brand of footy, they share the ball well, play instinctively and move the ball quickly, the midfield is first class and some nice avenues to goal, in particular Chase Saunders, have been solid for all of the season.
Finals inexperience is seen by some as a weakness for Hill End, but the enthusiasm of an exciting team counters that, and the two finals they have played to date havnt really shown that the occasion has got the better of them.
Mirboo North have many years of finals experience and this season have found the depth required to place the pressure on their starting eighteen, they either perform or they are under pressure from those below, it’s a perfect storm brewing for the 2017 MGFL premiers, who have also welcomed back their playing coach Josh Taylor back into the fold, as Mike Santo from Hill End has noted
“Josh played really in his first game of the year and gave his side some much needed punch up forward, we take confidence in knowing that we can beat them, we are realistic though and also know they are seasoned campaigners and will make adjustments. We will try and counter
those and give ourselves a chance to win by utilising some advantages we believe we have. Liam Nash is like a dark cloud looming over our head, we will prepare for him to play but not sure if he will. We have lost Brooks, but will add speed, I have heaps of respect for their club and team and it should be a great battle, I think we will go in as underdogs which sits fine, people havnt really given us a chance all year so looking forward to proving more people wrong.”
So the dream is still very much alive for Hill End, with the colors of yellow and black all that’s stands between them and a rare grand final appearance.
Mirboo North coach, Josh Taylor, “really look forward to another challenge next week with Hill End, we will tinker with a few things where we went wrong last week but we won’t change too much, we’ve played some good footy of late and we will back ourselves in but it will also be tough at selection again.. Mike is exactly right, that people wrote them off a long time ago, we certainly didn’t but credit to Mike’s coaching and Hill End’s playing group as you can see they have real belief in the group, I love finals footy exciting challenging and sometimes rewarding”
This week just the one team will be rewarded with the vacant spot in the 2019 MGFL Grand Final to be played at Morwell recreation reserve, awaiting is Yallourn-Yallourn North.MGFL website
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Match preview published by the MGFL website. To view original publication in full online click here.
Article image source: Mid Gippsland Football League Facebook page.