IT’S finals time in KNTFL footy.
This weekend promises some brilliant match-ups, with one side set to fall from the premiership race.
Bordertown this weekend has the bye, courtesy of finishing in top spot, leaving Keith and Penola and Naracoorte and Mundulla to face off in the first weekend of the major round.
Saturday: qualifying final - Keith vs Penola at Mundulla
Last time these two met, in round 11, the match-up delivered a classic.
Penola came out on top, 21.13 (139) to 19.10 (124) in one of the best games of the season.
Fast forward to now and both sides have clearly been in the mix and well deserve their double chance. Keith were top coming into the last round but had a bye so could only watch as Bordertown overtook them.
Penola on the other hand weren’t at their devastating best but still managed a reasonably comfortable win over Kaniva/Leeor United. It could be a battle of the spearheads on Saturday with league leading goalkicker Adam Merrett for Penola and the ever-dangerous Jimmy McEntee for Keith fronting the two high-scoring sides. Because of this the midfield becomes key as whoever gets on top in the engine room will ensure good service to the powerful front men.
Sunday: elimination final - Naracoorte vs Mundulla at Naracoorte
Sunday session is in for the finals series and fortunately for Naracoorte they get home ground advantage against the Moots.
After losing to Keith and then cruising against Lucindale the Demons are out to ensure progression as they try to shake off some so-so form against the Tatiara Tigers. Like Penola, Naracoorte have proven to be devastating at times however they have also been guilty of taking their eye off the ball and struggling against lower-ranked teams for periods of games.
Naracoorte’s physical game style against Mundulla’s quick run and spread will be an interesting match-up in this game.
Can Mundulla run Naracoorte off their feet before the Demons knock them off theirs?
Former league medallist Matt Gill has been in good form for Naracoorte and looms as a big player, while key forward Sam Logan missed last week but will hopefully return to Naracoorte for their finals campaign.
Mundulla’s best have been spread around, with brothers Boyd and Wade Packer dangerous in front of goals and interleague midfielder Jake McGrice showing his worth. Jason Milligan missed Mundulla’s last game and his return to the ruck role would be much-anticipated against the classy Craig Beggs.