Yanac form ominous
Three Yanac teams will again go into Wimmera Hockey Association finals this weekend as favourites after finishing the home-andaway season on top of their respective ladders.
They are also in prime position to repeat their 2018 premiership trifecta.
Other teams will be trying to stop them, starting with semi-finals at Nhill’s Davis Park on Saturday.
In open competition, Yanac Tigers take on Warrack Hoops in a second semi-final with a place in the grand final on the line, while Dimboola Burras meet Nhill Rangers in a first semi-final.
The Tigers and Hoops have a long history of tough encounters, having met at least once in most finals series during the past 30 seasons. Although the Tigers have the better record, the Hoops have earned their share of victories.
Despite their unbeaten record so far in 2019, the Tigers have been less dominant, securing wins in the last few minutes of play.
The only games from which the
Tigers did not earn full points this season were against the Hoops.
In the first semi-final, Dimboola Burras hold the statistical advantage over the Rangers in their head-to-head record this season.
The Rangers have been getting closer to the Burras as the season has progressed and if they can put their best team on the field, and play their best hockey, are capable of causing an upset.
But the Burras finals’ experience should see them win a tough game. Women’s competition features Yanac up against Dimboola Roos in a second semi-final and Nhill Thunderbirds meeting Kaniva in a first semi-final.
Yanac and Dimboola have played off in the previous two women’s grand finals and have won the last eight premierships between them.
The interest will be in which team earns a place in that game first.
In the first semi-final, recent form suggests Nhill Thunderbirds should earn the right to progress to the preliminary final next week.
Nhill finished comfortably in third place on the ladder while Kaniva only confirmed its place in recent weeks.
In under-16s, Yanac Warriors meet Kaniva Raiders in a second semi-final and Warrack Revengers take on Nhill Leopards in a first semi-final.
ELEVATED ATTACK: Warrack Hoops’ Ben Williamson controls an aerial ball ahead of opponent Jonathan Horsfall during Wimmera Hockey Association action. Picture: SIMON KING