FINALS WEEK 1: FIRST GRADE PREVIEWS
Jaike Altieri guides you through an intimate look at the line up for week one of the First Grade Finals….
First Grade Men’s
Semi Final- Ainslie vs Belconnen, Alan Ray Oval, Saturday 1:30pm
The grand finalists from 2017 will meet in round one for direct entry into the grand final for the 2018 season.
This could be a preview of what spectators could see in a fortnights time at UNSW Canberra oval with both these two teams being the frontrunners all season. The Magpies won the first time these two faced off in round 1, but Ainslie won the final two match-ups and will take that confidence into this match. Belconnen will be looking to rectify a poor showing against Queanbeyan last week. Ainslie haven’t lost since round 3 and will hope to keep that form going, especially after a great showing last week against the Jets where they had 10 goal scorers. It should be a cracking game for a direct entry to the grand final for the victor.
Elimination Final- Queanbeyan vs Eastlake, Allinsure Park, Sunday, 1:30pm
Win or go home.
That’s the equation for the Tigers and Demons this week and for the rest of the finals series. Queanbeyan hold a two win and 1 loss record against the Demons and will be full of confidence after knocking off one of the premiership favourites in Belconnen in convincing fashion last weekend. The Tigers won 7 of nine games at Allinsure Park this season, showing they know their home ground well, defeating the Demons by 50 points the last time these two met at the ground. But the Demons have the ability to beat any team in the competition when they’re up and firing, having beaten all three teams above them on the ladder during the year and will be looking to build on a solid win last week against Tuggeranong. This should be a close game with a lot of pressure and fast-paced football with both teams not wanting to end their season early.
UNSW Canberra First Grade Women’s-
Semi Final- Belconnen vs Eastlake, Alan Ray Oval, Saturday 4:00pm
This should be a fascinating match up for both teams playing for a spot in the 2018 Grand Final.
The Magpies had a great year, finishing on top of the ladder, but they may be down on form and confidence after losing their final two matches of the season. Eastlake were hot on their heels only finishing second by one game. Belconnen won two of the three meetings against the Demons this season, but the Demons will take confidence into this match-up after knocking off the Pies in their most recent outing. With weather permitting it should be an absolute shootout with all five of the season’s leading goal scorers playing in this game.
Elimination Final- Queanbeyan vs Ainslie, Allinsure Park, Sunday 4:00pm
On paper this game looks to have a clear winner and loser, but finals football is a different beast and anything can happen.
The Tigers finished third position comfortably ahead of Ainslie who were seven wins behind in fourth position. The Tigers have won five games in a row and look to be in form heading into the finals, beating ladder leaders Belconnen last week. Ainslie played a do-or-die match last week, beating Gungahlin to secure their spot in the finals series. It looks to be an uphill battle for Ainslie but the club knows how to win finals, but Queanbeyan should be able to hold strong on their home turf where they’ve only lost two games this season.