Lindisfarne v New Norfolk
By Gary Williamson
IN what promises to be one of the most exciting and closest grand finals in years, the Southern Football League’s two best sides who lost only one roster game each all year will clash at KFV Oval this Saturday, with Lindisfarne taking on New Norfolk.
The Two Blues triumphed in the second semi-final at Boyer a fortnight ago and would have gained plenty of confidence and self belief. They know if they are close all day they have the pace and fitness to really run the game right out and the large confines of KGV Oval should suit their game style. The Eagles really bounced back to their best form last weekend, easily defeating Kingborough in the preliminary final and have the chance to seek revenge and have another crack at Lindisfarne. But the Eagles know the opposition does not fear them and they have to play their best to win the game.
New Norfolk have lots of experience and these quality players will have cool heads in the opening minutes of the game and this settling period will be really telling as the nerves set in and the adrenalin starts pumping. The Eagles should have an edge in strength around the stoppages and if they can win the clearances then they should be able to create plenty of opportunities for their key forwards as Thompson and Carver will push a long way up the ground to make a contest and not allow the oppositions ruckman and easy mark across half back.
The midfield battle looks fairly even but Lindisfarne have a lot more run and they spread really quickly when they came possession and New Norfolk will have to do more homework than they did a fortnight ago. They must ensure they have their match-ups correct and not allow the opposition to create the lose man as they will chip the ball around to keep possession. Both sides have dangerous forwards but being a grand final there will be plenty of midfield pressure and the forwards will have to work hard for their goals and more importantly accuracy could play a key role as both sides will dominate periods of the game but will need to score to grab an advantage.
Lindisfarne may have an edge in pace and they will attempt to use the spaces of the Glenorchy oval to create the loose man and they also have two key forwards capable of kicking multiple goals. They also proved two weeks ago that they are prepared to really scrap the game and take on the powerful Eagles in the stoppages and contested possessions and they will use their press to really push up the ground they will probably get hurt on the rebound unless they man up more than usual. They should have learnt from their first round loss and must back themselves to get off to a good start and put some scoreboard pressure on the rivals.
In a battle of the leagues two best sides perhaps New Norfolk will strip a lot fitter with two hard finals games under their belts and they will under estimate their opponents and take the 2012 premiership but only their best effort will be good enough as the all-confident Lindisfarne are flying and an easy win would not surprise but they will have to withstand a brutal New Norfolk and the big ground will suit their style of play.