North Haven make a statement against Modbury but can the Magpies topple Golden Grove at Harpers Field? And can Flinders Park topple Modbury at home?
By Ben Lennon

Elimination Final
Flinders Park 20.22 def Edwardstown 4.10

You would be forgiven after the first quarter for thinking that we had one hell of a contest on our hands. Edwardstown looked the goods early but the sides came in to the first break even, both kicking 3.4. What happened next was Flinders Park making a massive statement to the rest of the competition. Their 0-3 start has been pushed aside and in the second quarter of this game, they showed what they are capable of. Edwardstown were held scoreless whilst the home side piled on six majors from 13 scoring shots, a dominant display. The Townies had a lot to do in the second half but the belief was still there at the main break, but it was not to be as they failed to kick a goal for the second quarter in a row. The margin at the end of the third was almost 70 points, the game was done. Flinders managed to blow the scoreboard out in the last, crossing the 100 point margin threshold before the final siren blew, signalling an end to Edwardstown’s campaign. The travellers enjoyed a mixed bag this season but much of that can be put down to various injuries throughout the year and having a change in coach heading into the finals is arguably not ideal preparation. Still, in their first year in division three they can hold their head high and they managed to show that they are not lacking in quality across the park. The Reds march on, making it six games undefeated. They had a myriad of goalkickers and James Schwarz was their best player along with Jay Hansen who was fantastic in the ruck and managed to help himself to a couple of goals. They head out to Modbury next week full of confidence after what was a very impressive performance. 

Qualifying Final
North Haven 15.12 defeated Modbury 10.11

North Haven have booked a spot in the first preliminary final next week where they will travel to Golden Grove for the second time in recent weeks. The Maggies took care of Modbury to the tune of five goals this weekend, with Smithson adding to his impressive tally for the year, kicking five himself. Modbury had a host of players kicking a couple of goals each but it was not enough to beat the Largs Bay outfit who have had an impressive year. Both sides love a physical contest and this one was no exception but North Haven are very difficult to beat at home and it showed here. For the visitors, Tim Davey was judged best player while Chris Lipson was given best on ground for north Haven. Smithson has now kicked 22 goals in his nine games and has not struggled to fill the void left by Tom Lipson halfway through the year. He has been very impressive at full forward and a key contributor towards North havens push for second place which proved vital here as they got the win at home. Next week, they head back to Golden Grove where two weeks ago they became the first team to hand the Kookaburras defeat all year. This time, though, Grove have something to play for. A spot in the grand final is up for grabs and both sides will do anything and everything they can to get their hands on it. As for Modbury, they have a very tough task ahead of them. Flinders Park are the form team of the competition and have just steamrolled Edwardstown, but they only beat Modbury by two points when they faced off at Flinders Park earlier in the year. This time, the game will be played at Modbury so the Hawks will come into it full of confidence and expecting a win. 

Modbury vs Flinders Park 

This semi final should be the first of two cracking games next Saturday afternoon with Modbury doing battle with Flinders Park. As we know, Flinders are in red hot form but Modbury have had the more consistent year, only just finishing outside of second position on the table. Both sides have a number of weapons, Modbury leaning towards a very physical and tough brand of footy where, as we saw last week, Flinders Park like to get out and use their run and carry. Both sides will fancy themselves but only one can have the chance to face one of Golden Grove and North Haven for a spot in the big dance. Flinders Park ran out two point victors last time they met however that was at home. This time, they travel to Modbury reserve and their season is on the line. Equal amounts of pressure on both sides, Flinders feel like their job is nowhere near done and that they deserve to be in the final three whereas Modbury face the unfortunate achievement of bowing out in straight sets. As much as the table doesn’t lie, I think that Flinders Park will have too much for Modbury and will run out winners this weekend in a bit of an upset. Flinders Park by 28 points

Golden Grove vs North Haven

The biggest question looming over this one is how much can we read into North Havens six goal victory over the Kookaburras a couple of weeks ago? If you’re a Golden Grove supporter, you’ll say that they had already stitched up top spot and had no problems with not finishing undefeated as long as they got through the game unscathed. If you swing the other way, you’ll say that North Haven deserved every bit of that win as they were too strong for Golden Grove even at home. Two perspectives but only one side can come out on top and book themselves a spot in the grand final in a few weeks time. There’s no denying that throughout the course of the year, Golden Grove have been the most impressive side. They have a number of gears they can go to and given their talent across the park, they are anything but one trick ponies. North Haven are scrappy but they get the job done week in week out. They play a rugby style of footy and are very focussed on getting the ball forward. Their win at Golden Grove was impressive and they took care of Modbury who are in theory the next best side in the competition very comfortably last week. They have talent up forward in Smithson and McCafferty and some very good users of the football on the outside. I think Golden Grove will get the job done and head through to the grand final here. Their ability to adapt to the game as it goes on will be important and they’ve already had a good look at North Havens best a couple of weeks ago so they will no doubt be prepared. I wouldn’t rule out an upset completely but for me, it’s Golden Grove quite comfortably in the end. Golden Grove by 34. 

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