North Haven make a huge statement to Golden Grove and the rest of the competition. Will it be Modbury, North Haven, Flinders Park or Edwardstown who stands up this week?
By Ben Lennon

Westminster 14.5 def by Modbury 15.14 

Modbury managed to hold off a gallant Westminster and secure the double chance as they ran out 15 point winners at Glandore this weekend. The home side got off to a fats start, leading by 13 at the first break but it was Modbury who were able to come back and hold a steady lead for the rest of the game. Mitchell Coles was the difference, kicking six goals while Mckenna, Fielke and Wilsdon kicked 10 between them for the Dragons in what would be their last game of the year. Westminster finish the season in seventh position, two games behind Gaza in sixth. They remained competitive all year but only managed the two wins which is no doubt behind where they would like to be. The good news for them and for those around them at the foot of the table is that they will be back in division three next year, ready for another shot at finals football. Modbury can look forward to a tough fixture in their first final away at North Haven this coming weekend. A ground that is hard to win at at the best of times, the Maggies will have their tails up after becoming the only team to beat Golden Grove this year.  

Flinders Park 22.17 def CBC Old Collegians 8.8

Heading into the weekend, Flinders Park had two goals. The first was to win and the second was to win big. The reds had a chance of finishing in the top three heading into this fixture and could only get there by Modbury or North Haven losing and Flinders Park making up a wealth of percentage points. Those two sides got the win so it all became redundant, however the form side of the competition got pretty damn close to closing the percentage gap with a near 100 point win over the Dolphins at home. Schwarz starred with four goals and was given best on ground honours but Daniel Blythe managed to kick six majors. Luke Trenorden was again in the goals, kicking four himself. Brad Johansen was the only multiple goalscorer for the visitors, kicking two out of midfield while Tom Pickering was their best player. A disappointing end to a tough first hit out in division three for CBC. They managed only one win for the year and that was over Plympton, the only team with a worse record than themselves. Still, with no promotion or relegation, CBC have had eight games to acclimatise to the level of competition they will need to be at going forward and they will no doubt come back hungry next year. Flinders Park have managed to win five straight and have booked themselves a home elimination final against Edwardstown. Not bad for starting off the year 0-3.

Golden Grove 8.14 def by North Haven 14.14

On a windy day up at Harpers Field, one team was up for it and the other was Golden Grove. North Haven stormed home in a commanding performance that will give them a lot of confidence heading into their home final against Modbury next week. Golden Grove had already sealed top spot on the ladder heading into the weekend but the lure of finishing undefeated was not enough to get them over the line as they struggled to stop North Haven. McCafferty continued his form in front of goal, kicking another four on a day where kicking goals was no easy task. Ross Merrett helped himself to three and was named their best on ground. As for Grove, Connor Dodd was the only player to reach double figures in front of goal. Brayden Shaw went goalless, meaning that Joshua Holliday from Edwardstown finished on top of the goalkicking tally, finishing with 21 on the year (before finals). Golden Grove now have the week to regroup and lick their wounds before they come up against either North Haven or Modbury, both of whom they struggled against in the regular season. North Haven will come into their home fixture with a wet sail and will look to book another date with Grove at Harpers in a few weeks time. 

Gaza 16.10 def Plympton 10.6

Gaza got the win they needed but it was not enough to make up the gap and grab themselves a spot in the final five. The Eagles finished sixth with an even amount of wins and losses which sums up what has been a inconsistent year. Brayden Lauder finished off his stellar season with another best on ground performance while Ladhams and Heintze kicked four goals each. Todd Culley kicked three and a host of others kicked singles which was more than enough to record a fairly comfortable win over Plympton at home. The Doggies finish the year without a win as it has looked like they would for some time now. They managed to be competitive in a few of their outings but overall, a really tough season for Plympton. The silver lining is that there was no threat of relegation so they will get the chance next year to redeem themselves and prove that they belong in this division. Jack Donkersley has undoubtedly been the bright spark for the Bulldogs, finishing with 19 goals from his seven games, leaving him third in the competition in the goalkicking department. An impressive feat given the lack of opportunities he has been presented with in the Plympton forward line. Gaza will be disappointed to have not played finals but can take plenty of positives from this season with some strong performances from some of their younger players. The case is the same for both of these sides though when we say that next year brings with it the chance for improvement and redemption. 

Flinders Park vs Edwardstown

The first of two cracking fixtures this weekend in our first taste of finals football this year. Edwardstown have been a remarkable story so far, coming up from division four and finding themselves already in the thick of finals action. Their season has been up and down, predominantly due to injury and lack of availability for some of their key players, but they have managed to finish with a record of five wins and three defeats. Whilst the end product was the same for Flinders Park, their journey has taken a different route entirely to the Townies. The Reds started out awfully, finding themselves 0-3 at the start of the year. Anyone who watched them in those three games will tell you they had the makings of a good side but couldn’t get the job done in the forward half. Enter Luke Trenorden. The big forward played four games in the regular season this year and his return speaks for itself. Four goals, four goals, six goals and then four goals again, bringing his season total to 18, an incredible effort. What’s more than that, though, is that his inclusion has allowed the FPFC small forwards to become more dangerous. With a functioning forward line Flinders Park stormed home, winning five straight and securing a home final. This should be a fantastic contest with both sides boasting plenty of pace and talent. Edwardstown managed to get the win in the corresponding home and away fixture, but Flinders Park are the form side of the competition at the moment, this could go either way. Flinders Park by 15

North Haven vs Modbury

Both of these teams will be relieved to end up with a double chance, but Modbury could be forgiven for thinking that they would be the ones [playing at home this weekend. North Haven managed to do what nobody else could and defeated ladder leaders Golden Grove away from home last weekend so will come into this one brimming with confidence. Both sides finished 6-2 but North Haven were the highest scoring team in the league and finished with a significantly higher percentage than their challengers. Whilst kicking straight has been difficult for the Magpies this year, their scoring power is unquestionable. Tom Lipson set the world on fire to start the year but since he went down with injury, a number of players have stepped in to fill the void he has left behind. Modbury will be no easy-beats, though. Like I said, they almost finished above North Haven and have been fantastic all year. They took care of business last week in a situation where a choke could have been catastrophic but they face a difficult task heading out to Largs North. The good news is, the Hawks got the job done against North Haven during the regular season, handing the Magpies one of their two losses. Granted it was at home but still, they know that they have it in them to beat this side so they should be confident in walking away with a win here. Though the double chance is a luxury, a loss would mean running into some very strong opposition in a do or die final next week, something that both of these siders would love to avoid. Modbury pushed Golden Grove close in the regular season and you already know that North Haven can beat the Kookaburras so there’s no doubt both of these sides can almost taste a spot in the grand final. This will be a tough encounter, but North haven at home is hard to go past. North Haven by 27.

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