KNTFL 2019 GF preview: All on the line

A grade - Lucindale v Mundulla, 2.20pm

Lucindale and Mundulla will meet in this Saturday's KNTFL A grade grand final for the second time in three years.

Lucindale defeated Mundulla in an upset in the 2017 grand final. Mundulla then backed up last year to cause its own upset to win the flag over Keith.

At the conclusion of the KNTFL's most even season ever, Lucindale and Mundulla stand as the most in-form teams and both deserving grand finalists.

In the second semi-final, they put on an epic see-sawing game which Lucindale just won by two points. Spectators at Penola will be hoping for a game that scales the same heights.

Lucindale fielded a strong side that day but in fact has the luxury of possibly three returning players for the grand final, all of them potential match-winners.

Small forward Sam Mardling, long-time local and key utility Sam Graetz and ex-AFL player Paul Stewart will all be up for selection if they have recovered from their ailments.

Mundulla on the other hand has a settled and cohesive looking side with few injury worries and an effective structure. In key forward James Hinge they have a trump card, while their on-ball division led by Nick Gregurke and Jake McGrice is elite, and their unsung defence led by Lachie Duell and Tom Gaden is hard to crack.

However a strong argument could also be made that Lucindale has the strongest midfield in the comp.

In fact the Roos probably have it hands down, with new league medallist Scott Spriggs, coach Ryan McInerney, Aaron Fielke and young Henry Tregoweth very hard to beat.

Lucindale also has a multi-pronged forward line with Mardling and Graetz back, strong-leading Gus Eckermann at CHF and smalls like Nick Cane lurking, with the added option of moving Riley Milne from defence.

Tom Logan is certain to have an impact either on the ball or as a small forward.

Neither side has a dominant ruckman which makes the midfield battle even more interesting.

Both sides have been here multiple times in recent years and nerves on the big stage won't be a factor. There has been no more than two or three goals between them each time they've met this year and this one is sure to be close as well.

With those returning players, Lucindale will be stronger than when it won the second semi-final, particularly up forward, and the Roos will have to go in as favourites.


Reserves: Border Districts v Penola, 12.10pm

Three quality lead-up games will provide great entertainment for spectators at the KNTFL grand final at Penola on Saturday.

In the reserves game, Border Districts will be going for their first premiership since 1995. They'll be against Penola which has been here many times before, making five of the last seven grand finals.

Borders beat Penola by just one point in the qualifying final in an epic finish, before thrashing Mundulla by 45 points in the second semi. The maroons will come in confident despite Penola winning its last two finals convincingly.

Borders have the leading goalkicker Jay Zeuner and the league medallist Kye Thompson, and searching for their first flag in 24 years, they'll be desperate to win.

Penola has the experience of Jon Copping, Simon Zadow and the Clayfields, as well as lots of young runners, and on their home ground they definitely can't be discounted.

In the junior grades, Kybybolite will be heavily favoured to continue its dream run. Both games are a repeat of last year's grand finalists, Kyby playing Penola and Naracoorte respectively.

Senior colts: Kybybolite v Penola, 10.30am

Kyby senior colts are the defending premiers and beat Penola by more than 10 goals in the second semi-final.

The Tigers have a strong and deep list and should enter the game as favourites having gone through the season with only two narrow losses.

But Penola finished on top of the ladder for a reason and will be up and about for this game. The Eagles will take heart from beating the Tigers by three goals back in round 9, and also from their fighting win over a handy Naracoorte team last week.

Also playing on their home ground should give them more confidence.

Junior colts: Kybybolite v Naracoorte, 9am

Kybybolite v Naracoorte will be one of the games of the day.

The histories of the two sides in this grade could not be more different, with Kyby having won seven premierships, while Naracoorte has played in eight losing grand finals without winning the flag.

Kyby will be playing in its fifth grand final in a row and won the second semi-final handsomely against Keith. The Tigers have the junior colts medallist Charlie Hillier and leading off-sider Jake Shepherd to drive their midfield.

However Naracoorte upset Kyby when they met in the minor round, and the Demons were also very impressive in last week's preliminary final.

They have a range of good players including Ben Johnson, Jack Ryan, Harry Schroder, Tommy Anderson and Sam Pridham, and have to be a chance of winning their first KNTFL junior colts premiership.