KNTFL football preview/team placings | FINALS WK 1

It promises to be a brilliant opening weekend of KNTFL football finals this weekend.

Saturday’s qualifying final games are drawn to be played at Mundulla, and Sunday’s elimination finals at Kaniva.

(For optimal viewing of the teams, we recommend exiting Facebook and visiting www.naracoorteherald.com.au, then clicking directly on the article “KNTFL preview/team placings | FINALS WK 1”).

Thankfully grounds should be drier and the standard of play higher than recent weeks.

In Saturday’s A grade qualifying final, Keith has finished the year with a flourish and will present a great threat to Penola.

The most interesting inclusion in the Penola side is gun midfielder Simon Berkefeld, who has been named to play despite being knocked out the previous week and seemingly ruled out for at least a week. Whether or not he actually lines up as named in the centre will be the focus of much interest on Saturday.

Penola has done nothing wrong this year and has been top-two the whole year, and if medal runner-up Berkefeld is able to play, it will give them a big boost.

They have managed to overcome adversity time and time again this season and could do it again, however the Keith system seems to be rolling well and the Crows will probably be favourites to progress straight to the grand final.

Keith won by 10 goals last time the teams played, but it will be closer than that this time.

The knockout final on Sunday is a rematch of last year’s grand finalists.

Lucindale has probably been the better performing side for most of the year, but is now battling injuries and has had three straight losses.

The two sides only played last week, and for three quarters it looked like Lucindale would get up before Mundulla rolled away in the last, with forward James Hinge the main man. So the teams are very evenly matched.

The Roos came from this position to win the flag last year, but it would be an extreme effort to repeat that, and with close to a full-strength side, Mundulla might be favourites to survive into week 2 of the finals.

Visit www.naracoorteherald.com.au on Saturday and Sunday night for action photos from the two days of play