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OMEO-BENAMBRA v BUCHAN
Where is it being played?: Buchan Oval
What time is the seniors game scheduled to start?: 2:00pm
A position in the Omeo District senior football grand final is what Omeo Benambra and Buchan will be playing for tomorrow when the two sides clash at Buchan.
The preliminary final promises to be an epic with the previous premiership favourite Ranges’ 14-game winning streak coming to an end against back-to-back reigning premier, Bruthen, last weekend. They will be up against a Cavemen outfit who are full of confidence after an enthralling come-from-behind semi final victory against Swan Reach two weeks ago.
Coming from 37 points down in the opening quarter to win by 11 shows a team full of character and Buchan coach, John Dick, will be asking for the same spirited effort this week, only for four quarters. “It’s something we’ve been talking about through the back end of the season,” he said. “It’s about having the right attitude and the right atmosphere around the
“Ideally we wouldn’t put ourselves in the situation we found ourselves in that first final, but I think it’s pretty good signs that the guys didn’t give up and managed to rally together to fight back from so far behind to get the chocolates.”
Although Omeo Benambra has won comfortably on all three occasions this season by 83, 114 and 41 points, Dick says anything can happen in finals.
“The first couple of times we played them they got the job done pretty comfortably,” he said.
“We didn’t have a bad side in, but we hadn’t played much footy together as a group, we had a few new faces coming in.
“When we played them in the middle of the season we were a few fellas short and it was the week before the bye. We didn’t go up there with a full strength side.
“The last time we played them we were pretty close to full strength, there were only a couple of faces missing.
“I was pretty confident with how we went about it, we ran with them for three quarters then lost a couple of fellas through injuries.
“We got to within four points of them at one stage but then they blew the lead out to about six goals.
“I think that is one thing we have to be pretty aware of is that it’s not just one or two players for them, it’s guys like (Jai) Hayward and (Damien) Pedder who have had fantastic seasons in front of goals and they’re fed from further up field.
“They have got some quality midfielders and running flankers.
“What it really showed I suppose is that they’ve had a different player pop up each time. They are pretty consistent through the middle.
“We have got to limit them and get the footy moving our way.”
The Ranges will head in as favourites, but if the Cavemen can exploit them with a fast start, such as the Bulldogs did last week, it will go a long way in helping Buchan make its first grand final appearance since 2015 where it lost by 47 points to Lindenow South.
“It’s easy to say prior results and form through the season counts. In a way they do, but anybody that has played a lot of footy knows that finals is a completely different game and Swan Reach certainly showed that against us in the first final and I think Bruthen really set the benchmark last week,” Dick said.
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