Lo­cal teams do bat­tle

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - FRONT PAGE -

A mas­sive crowd is ex­pected at the Blighty Re­cre­ation Re­serve to­mor­row for the Pi­cola League’s north-west di­vi­sion grand fi­nal day.

Pi­cola United take on Strath­mer­ton in the se­nior footy and the Deni Rovers A grade are chas­ing an his­toric first flag up against their neme­sis, Tocumwal.

In the only ‘lo­cal’ clash of the day, Deni Rovers and Blighty Redeyes will do bat­tle in C re­serve net­ball for the third year in a row.

Last year’s de­cider saw a goal in the dy­ing sec­onds from Blighty shooter Rose Siev­ers se­cure the flag with a fi­nal score of Blighty 34 to Deni Rovers 33.

The game was in­cred­i­bly close, with only a goal or two sep­a­rat­ing the teams through­out.

Siev­ers ex­pects a sim­i­lar out­come again for this year’s de­cider.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly close again,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve had some fan­tas­tic bat­tles with the Rovers and we’ve man­aged to beat each other dur­ing the sea­son.

‘‘We’ve re­ally jelled well as a team this year, with most of us hav­ing been a part of last year’s grand fi­nal.’’

The Roos will go into this year’s fi­nal with a much dif­fer­ent line-up com­pared to last year.

Act­ing cap­tain Emma Arthur said she thinks it’s the Rovers’ turn for a win.

‘‘We have some fresh faces and we’re all work­ing well to­gether as a team,’’ she said.

‘‘I per­son­ally haven’t been a part of any side that’s come up against Blighty in a grand fi­nal, so I’m pretty ex­cited about that.’’

The match be­tween the Redeyes and the Rovers will start at 12.45pm at Blighty Re­cre­ation Re­serve.

Blighty’s Un­der 13s net­ballers will be con­fi­dent they can fin­ish off their in­cred­i­ble sea­son, when they play a home grand fi­nal against Pi­cola United to­mor­row.

The two sides have met three times this year, the Redeyes tak­ing a clean sweep against the Blues.

The last time they met though it was just two goals that sep­a­rated them, Blighty claim­ing the semi fi­nal win to earn a di­rect route to the grand fi­nal.

The Redeyes have been near un­stop­pable this year, drop­ping just the one game when they were heav­ily un­der­manned against Ber­ri­gan in round 13.

Coach Mary-Lynne Brad­ford said she ex­pects a close game to­mor­row.

‘‘The girls have had an out­stand­ing sea­son and have im­proved ev­ery match,’’ she said.

‘‘The last game against Pi­cola it was tightly con­tested and scores were level late in the game.

‘‘But we kept calm and man­aged to just pull away for the win.

‘‘It was good to see that we were able to do enough to win in a tight sit­u­a­tion.’’

With the game be­ing played at the Blighty Re­cre­ation Re­serve, the Redeyes have a home court ad­van­tage, with Brad­ford en- courag­ing mem­bers and sup­port­ers to cheer on her side.

‘‘Hope­fully we’ll have plenty of sup­port for the girls,’’ she said.

‘‘All year they’ve been keen to lis­ten and learn.

‘‘If we can get as much lo­cal sup­port as pos­si­ble, then it could help the girls’ con­fi­dence.’’

For Blighty’s C re­serve it’s deja vu, as they meet ri­val Deni Rovers in the grand fi­nal for the third year in a row.

The match is set to be a spec­ta­tors’ de­light, with just one goal split­ting the teams in the past two de­ciders.

Rovers C re­serve act­ing cap­tain Emma Arthur and Blighty C re­serve cap­tain Rose Siev­ers are ready to go head-to-head to­mor­row.

Blighty Un­der 13s (back, from left) Mary-Lynne Brad­ford (coach), Char­lie Ma­son, So­phie Mur­ray, cap­tain Is­abella McIl­wain, Sarah Han­mer, Shelby His­lop; (front) April Weir, Ni­cola Stan­worth, El­iza Brad­ford and Ali­cia Smith.

The Blighty Foot­ball Club would like to con­grat­u­late Jed Brain for win­ning the 2017 PDFL Best & Fairest – Well done Jed!

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