Preliminary Final: Brunswick vs MHSOB
In a 58-point win over MHSOB, Brunswick NOBS have secured their promotion to Division 1 and locked in a Grand Final appearance next week.
The Nobbers dominated the first quarter, but were wasteful in front of goal, kicking 1 goal (Dom Sullivan) from their eight shots.
However, despite the failure to capitalise early, the Nobs defence quickly shut down any Unicorn run on, holding them goalless until the second quarter. Unicorn James Tran came out early with a much-needed goal for his side, but that momentum didn’t seem to flow, as their next goal only came at the end of the second term (Kane Smith). In that time, Nobbers Matt Brown and Kyle Adams booted one goal each to help their side hold a steady two-goal half time lead.
After half time, the Nobbers began to flex their muscles and showed MHSOB why they finished clear second on the ladder, booting six unanswered goals, with three stemming from Chris Ford in a commanding quarter. The Unicorns struggled in the final term also, failing to kick another goal for the game. They missed 12 shots on goal which could have helped them challenge the Grand Final bound Nobbers, who booted two late goals to seal victory.
For MHSOB, who should be congratulated for their hard-fought run to the finals, Louis Phillips was BOG, supported by Angus Lane.
For the winners, James Schmidt was dominative across the ground, with Danny King also prominent in his side’s win.
Brunswick will now move to Division 1 for season 2020, turning their focus to the Division 2 Grand Final next week, where the will challenge and undefeated Whitefriars outfit.
Division 2 Grand Final Preview
Whitefriars vs Brunswick Nobs
After nearly 100 games across the home and away season for 2019, the top two sides have rightfully booked their spot in the Division 2 Grand Final, as well as promotion to Division 1.
The Friars have taken all before them in 2019 completing a perfect home and away season finishing undefeated and convincingly overcoming every challenge thrown at them by all comers, looking to become Premiers and Champions. They have averaged an astonishing 21 goals per game and done just as well at the other end conceding a low average of 7 goals per game. Their record against the top sides is impressive and after bowing out last season in the Preliminary Final, the club firmly has the flag in their sights. They however need to overcome an impressive Brunswick Nobs who, after being relegated from Division 1 last season, have certainly put together an impressive body of work losing only 3 games and finishing in clear second place. Their recent form has been excellent and they would rate their chances this week.
The focus remains on the massive Semi Final win from the Friars over the Nobbers, as they promoted themselves with a 143-point annihilation of the second-placed side.
The Friars set the tone early, with 14 scoring shots (9 goals) to three scoring shots (2 goals) in the first quarter and dominated with an astonishing 44 scoring shots to 16 in an absolute rout.
The Nobbers however know they are a significantly more competitive side than the one that took to the field two weeks ago, but they’ve go to shut down the undefeated Friars early and prevent them from utilising their multi-faceted forward line. This means the Nobbers must not focus too heavily on a few forwards, such as Sam Kiesker and Michael Nitas, instead creating a midfield plan that sees the Friars early run on condensed to the middle.
The Friars love to run and spread and the big grounds have always been in their favour, so don’t be surprised if they come out of the blocks early and set the tone early anyway.
In the two meetings between these sides in the home and away season, Whitefriars ran out convincing winners on both occasions, winning comfortably by 48 and 49 points. It has proven hard to stop their multi-faceted forward line with a wide range of goalkickers on the board each week led by James Connellan and Sam Kieseker and run-and-gun forward Michael Nitas while 9 players have kicked double figure goals and an amazing 29 players have kicked a goal this season. Brunswick on the other hand has also been prolific in front of goal with leading goalkicker Dom Sullivan (42), Jacob Atkins (38) and Chris Ford (33) and three goals in one quarter last week, proving great targets with plenty of others piling on the scoreboard pressure. Now for the Nobbers, they must
Both sides can score feely but it’s in the back half where this game will be won. In their two matches this season, Whitefriars miserly defence has held the Nobs to 10 and 11 goals respectively while heaping on the pressure booting 18 and 17 goals against the Brunswick defence. The Brunswick forward line is potent, but the Whitefriars defence is tight and will make the Nobs forwards earn every kick.
Both sides have made a rightful case for the Premiership, but it’s hard to see the undefeated Whitefriars fumbling at the last hurdle.
Prediction: Whitefriars by 45 points
A.R Fellows Medal Prediction: Kristian Height
Reserves Grand Final- MHSOB vs Whitefriars
The Whitefriars boys are looking to go back-to-back in their Reserves Grand Final over a well-rested MHSOB side. The MHSOB had a much-needed rest and have the numbers to be comfortable, while the Friars have both sides in the big dance.
Corey Dineen was prominent for the Friars in their Preliminary win last week over Glen Eira with two goals, so he’ll be a big worry for the Unicorn defenders.
From MHSOB, who were minor premiers, Anthony Tran has been dominant in the latter of the season and was given votes in their Semi win two weeks ago.
MHSOB’s biggest issue is their inaccuracy, as they missed 11 shots on goal two weeks ago. For the Friars, they allowed Glen Eira too many opportunities on goal last week, so they must shut down the Unicorn run on early.
It will be a low scoring affair as both sides play a defensive, but high intensity game.
Prediction: Pumped up Friars to win a tight tussle by 12 points