By Trevor Jackson
THE Western Border Football League stages its preliminary finals this weekend and it is anyone’s guess who will line up next to South Gambier in the A Grade grand final the following week.
Millicent and North Gambier go head-to-head at Blue Lake Sports Park for the chance to make the big dance, with both showing some interesting from leading up to the post-season.
But finals football is where it happens and the Saints were easily accounted for by the Demons last weekend in the semi-final clash.
In contrast the tigers staged what could have been seen as an upset win over East Gambier, although both sides had shown shaky form leading to the clash.
The Saints have certainly enjoyed a strong season, with a 10/5 win/loss ratio and some good performances along the way.
A huge win over North in Round 14 suggests Millicent will enter the game with plenty of confidence.
Spearhead goal kicker Gene Robinson has been in ominous form, reaching his 100-goal milestone in the final minor round.
Delivery into the forward 50 has been strong, with the likes of coach Clint Gallio leading the way.
It appears to be a case of a strong team-oriented style of play which works for the Saints, with Gallio certainly having an impact on the club.
He was the last person to coach the side to a premiership and would surely want another shot at glory.
The likes of Frazer Bradley, Sam Willis and Jacob Carger have been in good touch, while the experienced Steve Duldig will need to be in control down back to help limit the Tigers’ scoring capacity.
If they can continue as they did in that last clash with North, the Saints are certainly a big chance to book a grand final berth.
However, as was shown last week, the Tigers can never be discounted.
Trailing by nine points at the final break, North staged a classic come-from-behind win against a tough East Gambier lineup.
Th eteam list is still one of the more impressive in the league, with the likes of Nick McInerney, Dylan Munn and Hamish Telford certainly up for the challenge – to name just a few.
Add to that the obvious influence of coach Justin McConnell and you have a dangerous combination right around the ground.
Going on season form the Tigers would have to start as underdogs, with a 7/8 win/loss ratio.
The Saints are in impressive form and last week’s loss could simply fuel the flames to have a shot at the Demons on the big stage.
Whatever the outcome, this is sure to be the match of the season to date and one not to be missed.