MID GIPPSLAND FL GRAND FINAL
NEWBOROUGH and Mirboo North will face off in the Mid Gippsland Football League grand final for the second successive year, and second time in league history.
It will be Newborough’s third consecutive attempt at a premiership flag, having gone down in the last two attempts to Trafalgar and Mirboo North. Newborough has looked the goods so far, and its only appearance in this season’s finals saw a demolition of Mirboo North in the second semi-final two weeks ago.
Whether Mirboo North can bounce back after that hiding is yet to be determined, but coach Troy Hamilton said the side could garner confidence from last week’s victory over Boolarra.
“After two weeks ago we weren’t sure where we were at and whether we’d be getting to this day, but we’re just excited to get another crack at it, get another two hours of footy to see if we can win it,” Hamilton said.
“It’s been a strange year… probably continuing on through the finals. We’ve had a lot of players missing and playing more roles through the year, sometimes through work, others through injury, so it’s been a different year where we’ve used lots of players.”
The Tigers know it is going to be a battle of the strongest, but history is against them as Newborough has enjoyed three strong wins in their bouts over Mirboo North this season.
Mirboo North was on fire in the regular season with 1811 points, averaging 100.61 per game while Newborough has been more subdued with 1697 points at 94.27 per game.
Newborough’s highest score this season was 24.18 (162) against Mirboo North the opening round “wedding-gate” match and, which it matches in its final home and away game against Thorpdale.
Mirboo North’s highest was 27.11 (173) against Hill End.
Newborough lowest was 4.11 (35) against Boolarra while Mirboo North’s was 2.8 (20) against Yinnar.
The big incentive for Newborough is having four teams in the grand final across the grades, but the all important seniors title has eluded the club for 11 years (2003), which was their ninth overall.
Newborough is basically a home-grown squad with Stuart Robertson the only outsider.
Coach Glenn Michie is a former player who returned this year to coach the Dogs and what a transformation he has brought to the kennel, taking out the minor premiership and now facing up to the grand final.
“If you are going to work hard you get what you deserve; at the moment finishing on top and getting a grand final spot is reward for effort, but I suppose we’ll only be judged on whether we can win it this weekend as well,” Michie said.
The playing-coach said the midfield was the key battleground, and shutting down supply to the league’s top goal kicker.
“I think if we can shut down their midfield, then obviously shut down Tim Traill, we’re going okay, but they’ve got a lot of quality players that go through their midfield so I think if we can stop those guys hopefully we’re on track to getting the job done.”
None of the current crop of players except Darryl Disisto played in their last premiership side so the feeling of elation would be new to most of the team. Mirboo North has a few new faces that were not present last year but this time the Tigers will be the underdogs, coming from third to make the grand final.
Both sides should be essentially full strength for the final, with few injury troubles in either camp.
Many of the Mirboo North squad have been around for quite a while and this could be their last hurrah.
Players such as Kris Berchtold, Drew Gardiner, Tim Traill, Simon Busittil and Shane Peters have been with the club for over a decade and if they can capture the premiership again it might prove a fitting climax to many careers.
From the Coaches
NEWBOROUGH – Glenn Michie
BULLDOGS coach Glenn Michie has turned to the history books in search of an answer to the club’s recent grand final woes.
Having dropped the last two deciders on the run, Michie contacted the coach who addressed the same problem in the 1999, Craig Skinner, who broke through for a premiership after consecutive runner-up efforts.
“We spoke about similarities in the group and similarities in the preparation… hopefully again history repeats and it’s a case of third time lucky,” Michie said.
As a new club coach, Michie said he does not have the “hangover” from the past two years of September heartache.
“I’ve sort of come in and just worried about 2014 and that’s been my focus the whole time. I’m sure there are some people around the club who have one eye on the past but for me it’s about making sure we get this year done right,” he said.
Michie said his focus had been on hard work and honesty to the group, with a throwback to past club culture.
“Being a Newborough person originally I know the values of the club and what has got them success in the past. It’s been a step forward in terms of professionalism but almost a step back to the values of years gone by.”
The potent playing-coach said shutting down the Tigers’ midfield, running backs and attacking weapon Tim Traill, would be key to victory this weekend.
MIRBOO NORTH – Troy Hamilton
Owning the underdog tag, Mirboo North coach Troy Hamilton believes his side’s top form can overcome the Newborough juggernaut in the grand final.
“We don’t have to fight for the underdog tag… but we showed on Saturday that our good footy is still right up there, so hopefully we can bring that,” Hamilton said.
The Tigers have finals experience in spades, with about 18 of the current crop played in last year’s premiership, along with several from the winning 2006/07 group, which Hamilton believes could play a part in the result.
However, he said the midfield must improve from the previous encounter two weeks ago, which Newborough won by 90 points.
“We got slaughtered out of the middle last time and it just gives their forwards every chance, they’re hard to handle anyway and they’re definitely hard to handle in the midfield… it will be won and lost in the midfield.”
Hamilton said whichever forward line receives the best delivery will be crucial, and the form of Tigers’ spearhead Tim Traill.
“It’s hugely important but I think Timmy turns up to play most weeks, his day will be reflected on whether our midfield can get the ball down there and I think (Newborough coach Glenn) Michie is the same,” he said.
The nine-time league leading goalkicker is instrumental in keeping the scoreboard ticking over, and also has the ability to play upfield when required.
A strong mark and accuracy is his dominant feature.
Gutsy rover type who is not afraid of mixing it with bigger players.
Is a reliable scorer and brings other players into the game.
Good disposal skills.
A much under-rated player but pops up each week in the best list, a strong no-nonsense type who can play either in attack or defence.
Hard player to beat.
Coach Glenn Michie holds the key to Newborough’s success.
Leading by example he came second in the league goalkicking but was not a recognised full-forward.
A dangerous player to tag and will be hard to hold down.
A strong player who has been brilliant this season, also a hard man to beat and the Dogs will be looking at him to shine again.
A good recruit this season who has had a great season, culminating in the league best and fairest award.
A hard player to pin down and will give the Bulldogs plenty of drive from the packs.
LINE UPS (likely)
B: Jake Bowden, Liam Carolan, Tony Battista
HB: Jeremy Cattanach, Darryl Disisto, Dylan Creighton
C: Mick Gelagotis, Chris Hancock, James Grant
HF: Rhys Jacobs, James Todd, Mitch Stanlake
F: Luke Webber, Glenn Michie, Josh Keyhoe
R: Stuart Robertson, Andrew Philip, Daniel Risol
Inter from: Rob Wilson, Mitch Neal, Josh Whittaker Lachlan Fanning.
B: Tristan Salerno, Drew Gardiner, Alex Windsor
HB: Daniel Taylor, Kris Berchtold, Liam Nash
C: Damien Turner, Jake Nash, Josh Taylor
HF: Luke Palmer, Brian Waters, Shane Peters
F: Jack Robertson, Tim Traill, Ben Ah Mat
R: Joe Brooks, Kallum Nash, Matt Holland
Inter from: Troy Hamilton, Simon Busittil, Jacob Blair, Dwayne Gunn, Dom Pinneri
Played 87 – Mirboo North 43, Newborough 44
Finals: Played 7 – Mirboo North 3, Newborough 4
LAST FIVE MATCHES
2014 Newborough 23.17 (155) d Mirboo North 9.11 (65)
2014 Newborough 11.13 (79) Mirboo North 8.9 (57)
2014 Newborough 24.18 (162) d Mirboo North 5.3 (33)
2013 Mirboo North 10.9 (69) d Newborough 9.11 (65) grand final
2013 Mirboo North 12.6 (78) d Newborough 9.14 (68)
2012 Newborough 36.16 (232), 2009 Mirboo North 29.7 (181)
1957 Mirboo North – Kevin Peacock (13),
1978 Newborough – Peter Brummellen (15)
ROAD TO SEPTEMBER
Newborough 24.18 (162) d Mirboo North 5.3 (33)
Newborough 10.20 (80) d Hill End 5.1 (31)
Newborough 9.7 (61) d Boolarra 5.10 (40)
Newborough 18.13 (121) d Yarragon 5.8 (38)
Newborough 13.21 (99) d Morwell East 6.8 (44)
Newborough 18.16 (124) d Yallourn Yallourn North 2.2 (14)
Newborough 9.10 (64) lt Yinnar 9.13 (67)
Newborough 7.17 (59) d Trafalgar 7.9 (51)
Newborough 18.15 (123) d Thorpdale 7.10 (52)
Newborough 11.13 (79) d Mirboo North 8.9 (57)
Newborough 13.13 (91) d Hill End 9.11 (65)
Newborough 4.11 (35) lt Boolarra 10.12 (72)
Newborough 10.11 (71) d Yarragon 1.11 (17)
Newborough 15.13 (103) d Morwell East 3.2 (20)
Newborough 19.15 (129) d Yallourn Yallourn North 4.1 (25)
Newborough 10.11 (71) d Yinnar 10.7 (67)
Newborough 9.9 (63) d Trafalgar 7.4 (46)
Newborough 24.18 (162) d Thorpdale 7.1 (43)
Newborough 23.17 (155) d Mirboo North 9.11 (65)
Mirboo North 5.3 (33) lt Newborough 24.18 (162)
Mirboo North 10.10 (70) d Thorpdale 5.9 (39)
Mirboo North 15.21 (111) d Hill End 9.6 (60)
Mirboo North 13.14 (92) d Boolarra 7.8-50
Mirboo North 15.15 (105) d Yarragon 6.12 (48)
Mirboo North 17.22 (124) d Morwell East 2.2 (14)
Mirboo North 24.7 (151) d Yallourn Yallourn North 7.6 (48)
Mirboo North 16.5 (101) d Yinnar 15.6 (96)
Mirboo North 2.14 (26) lt Trafalgar 7.8 (50)
Mirboo North 8.9 (57) lt Newborough 11.13 (79)
Mirboo North 19.13 (127) d Thorpdale 8.5 (53)
Mirboo North 27.11 (173) d Hill End 6.5 (41)
Mirboo North 14.12 (96) d Boolarra 8.8 (56)
Mirboo North 17.17 (119) d Yarragon 6.3 (39)
Mirboo North 20.14 (134) d Morwell East 3.5 (23)
Mirboo North 23.22 (160) d Yallourn Yallourn North 2.6 (18)
Mirboo North 2.6 (18) lt Yinnar 15.20 (110)
Mirboo North 17.12 (114) d Trafalgar 11.8 (74)
Mirboo North 10.7 (67) d Yinnar 8.9 (57)
Mirboo North 9.11 (65) lt Newborough 23.17 (155)
Mirboo North 18.13 (121) d Boolarra 6.7 (43)
UNDEFEATED Mirboo North enters this weekend’s grand final against Boolarra as the hottest of favourites to take the Mid Gippsland netball flag at Morwell East.
The Tigeresses romped through the regular season with 18 straight wins, and overcame this weekend’s opponent 46-41 in their semi-final meeting two weeks ago.
Regular season runners-up Boolarra felled Yinnar twice through the finals series to reach the decider and should be equipped to match it with the league’s most imposing outfit.
The Tigers have best and fairest player Alice Pratt in the line-up and she will be a big advantage.
The game commences at 2.30pm.
All finals to be played at Morwell East, Ronald Reserve.
FOURTHS Newborough v Yinnar 9.30am
THIRDS Newborough v Mirboo North 10.30am
RESERVES Newborough v Yinnar noon
SENIORS Mirboo North v Newborough 2.30pm
Under 15 Newborough v Morwell East 8.30am
Under 17 Newborough v Yinnar 9.30am
D Grade Trafalgar v Morwell East 10.45am
C Grade Boolarra v Morwell East noon
B Grade Mirboo North v Morwell East 1.15pm
A GRADE Mirboo North v Boolarra 2.30pm