QUalifying and elimination final - preview



Here we go finals and spring is in the air with magnificent weather forecast for the opening week of finals in the SS&A OMFNL this weekend in the Rural City of Wangaratta. 


Both Saturday’s Qualifying final (WJ Findlay Oval) and the Elimination final (Norm Minns Oval) on Sunday will be held in the city. 



Albury and Wangaratta will square off with both teams looking likely to recall some injured star players to set up what should be a high-standard and fast-flowing game. 

The Tigers will have back Anthony Miles, George Horlin-Smith, Isaac Muller, Elliot Powell, Rhys King and Hamish Gilmore from the round eighteen side. 

Who misses out is the toughest task ahead of the selection panel. What is not an issue is the class that it brings to the Tiger on ball division, an area that most believe will see the game won. 

The Magpies after a mid-season resurgence have had some injury concerns throw another spanner in what has been a very testing season throughout. 

Jackson Clarke, Matt Kelly, and Ben Reid look gone for the season, while veteran forward Michael Newton has been named along with Daine Porter. 

The ace in the pack is the quality and red-hot form of Cal Moore, his battle with Lucas Conlan or Jess Wilson will be crucial for the Magpies. 

In the netball Qualifying final it will be Wangaratta taking on Lavington with the winner earning the right to take on Yarrawonga the following week. 

Interestingly Wangaratta who finished higher than Lavington has lost both matches this year against the Panthers – 46-50 in Rd 7 and a 34-39 loss in Rd 16. 

The Panthers have a strong record as well against Yarrawonga in home and away matches having won three out of its last four games against the Pigeons. 

Wangaratta had the last-round bye and before that were impressive winners against Myrtleford – if they can contain Panthers goal-scoring machine Christine Oguche, they may get over the line. 




 The elimination final is one full of intrigue and mystique with both sides in recent weeks battling injury and fluctuations in form. 

The Rovers bounced back in good fashion in the final round against North Albury after being hammered the previous week by Yarrawonga. 

Then in round eighteen, it was the Bulldog’s turn to play the Pigeons and despite being well beaten showed some positive signs that their best against Rovers may get a win. 

The inclusion of Will Christie is massive for Rovers allowing him and young gun Toby Murray some forward line flexibility when resting from ruck duties. 

Tom Johnston is likely to miss again for Wodonga, however, the return of Angus Baker and big man Michael Driscoll is a huge boost. 

If Sam Murray and Brodie Filo cut loose for Rovers Wodonga could easily find themselves behind very quickly – a negating role appears a must on both. 

Rover’s advantage may be up forward where Alex Marklew, Tom Boyd and the resting ruckman may have more firepower than the Oscar Willding reliant Bulldogs attack. 

Wodonga Raiders will go into the netball elimination final full of confidence against Myrtleford having beaten them eight days ago at Myrtleford by 20 goals. 

There will be one major difference come Sunday – the return of the league’s best player Sophie Hanrahan to the Saints lineup after missing the last couple of weeks playing with Collingwood. 

Raiders play a fast-paced and high-scoring brand of netball that is suited to its shooters Emily Stewart and Taylor Donelan. 

The Saints tried five different goal-attacking avenues last week and will need to settle on a combination that can turn the tables in what looms as a thrilling contest. 

All senior football and netball will be available on OPTUS O&M TV and Live Streams at www.omfnl.com.au with all football games broadcast on 1494 2AY, 1566 3NE & OAK.FM