edfl grand final liftout
Longwarry will shoot for its first premiership in 50 years when it plays off against Nyora in Saturday’s Ellinbank District Football League grand final at Western Park. It would mark a fairy-tale finish to the season for the Crows, who earlier this season celebrated the 50-year reunion of its 1968 West Gippsland premiership. Standing in the way will be a resurgent Nyora side making its first grand final appearance since going back to back in 2007. A strong season of recruiting saw the Saints burst back into the finals for the first time since an elimination final exit in 2008 in a big way, finishing atop the ladder at season’s end with just two losses. The Saints will sweat on the fitness of gun midfielder Dylan Heylen, who suffered an innocuous injury mid-season that has turned into a lengthy stint on the sidelines. With or without Heylen, the Saints boast a strong team that has taken just about all before them this season. The Crows have been one of few sides to push the Saints this season and will give themselves every chance to create what many would regard as an upset. Epic match ups will be on show around the ground in what should be a tantalising contest. It will begin in the middle, where Saints veteran Nick Carrigy will engage talented Crows tall Nicholas Redley in an epic duel. Both sides boast an explosive midfield, the Saints led by the likes of Kallon Rigby, Ryan Spooner, Rhys Bancroft, Ben Hallas and Jordan Anderson. Anthony Galley also provides value as a link up player, while Lachlan Fievez will be aiming to impress as a player still eligible for under 18s football should he get the call up. Russell Lehman has been winning possessions at will in recent weeks and will be a player the Saints will need to stop, but they will also need to mindful of the likes of Wells brothers Danny and Casey, while Kane Oldham and Riley Rundell also boast explosive pace. Daniel Fry is the key target for the Crows in attack, and he will be looking to respond after going goalless against the Saints in the second semi-final. He has received support from his midfielders and Harley Jones, who has pulled off some spectacular goals to go with his explosive pace during the finals. Saints coach Fia Tootoo will marshal his defence and may take the job on the Crows spearhead in a contest that could also have a major bearing on the result. Ben Schultz has been added to the Saints mix this year to add some firepower up forward and assistance to Ilan Osman. The Crows defence will have their work cut out, but you can count on underrated players Ken Towt, Leigh McDonald and Aaron Serong stepping up. In a successful year for the club, Longwarry have all three of its football sides playing off. It’s reserves side has been the dominant team in the competition but will have their work cut out against an Ellinbank team that has powered through the finals from third-position on the ladder. The Crows’ under 16 team are also formidable opponents who will enter slight favourite against Warragul Industrials following their week off. Catani will be aiming to go back-to-back in the under 18s but standing in the way is a Neerim-Neerim South side that has lost just once this season. The Blues will take confidence from the fact they inflicted the Cats’ only loss for the season in the second semi-final.
Nyora veteran Nick Carrigy and Longwarry tall Nicholas Redley will engage in a gruelling ruck duel throughout Saturday’s Ellinbank District Football League grand final at Warragul’s Western Park.