Business as usual for hot Demons
Horsham Saints v Horsham Demons
After crashing against the Warrack Eagles last week, Horsham Saints are out to reclaim their early season form when they host the Horsham Demons in a grand final rematch.
Saints coach Brendan Broadbent will put Harry Denson and Andy Bansemer through fitness tests this week after they copped heavy knocks, while Josh Burgess will have a date during the week with the tribunal.
The Demons have been going about their business without fanfare or fuss and have a host of players contributing each week.
The Saints have been flirting with their form over the past three weeks, winning games in spurts rather than solid four quarter efforts, before the Eagles debacle and this will be something Broadbent will be impressing on his players this week.
Horsham have been disposing of opponents through slick ball movement, strong defenders and a forward line that can kick goals through various avenues.
The Saints will look to their midfield headed by Phil Butsch, Nathan Clough, Matt Hoe and Heath Kelm to generate drive and be accountable on the way back, especially as the Demons have midfielders that push forward to kick goals.
Saints Gavin Kelm, Matt Combe and Steve Cameron will be called on to kick a winning score, while Brendan Ward, Brad Couch and Bowen Friend will have the job ahead of them to stem the flow of Demon goals.
Brad Hartigan, Terry Arnel, Jordyn Burke and Marcus Anson are all in stellar form for the Demons, receiving great support from unheralded types like Jason Kerr, Joel Geue, Jake Lloyd and Ross McCrae.
The Demons are in such good form it’s hard to go past them. Horsham by 23 points.
Horsham United v Stawell
Traditional rivals Horsham United and Stawell square off at the City Oval in what is an eight point game for both clubs.
The Diggers are coming off the bye and before that were disappointing against Ararat in a game coach Guy Smith put down to one of those days.
The Warriors are coming off a solid win over Dimboola in which they trailed all day but finished the game off strongly, something that pleased coach Brad Cassidy. “While it was good to finish the game as strong as we did, I said to the boys we need to start in the same way,” he said.
Smith has put his players on notice. “We need players to contribute every week and we had a few passengers against Ararat and I told them unless you perform, your spot in the team is up for grabs,” he said.
The key factor in this game could be the City Oval. The Warriors have played there twice early in the season and lost both times, something Cassidy is aware of, and they are still to win on the road this season.
The Diggers will look to regain runners Nigel Sibson and Matt Williams, while Stawell has Isaac Rathgeber, Matt Dwyer and Bryce Homden up for senior selection.
The Diggers need Tim Wade to give midfielders Brendan McDonald, Nathan Byrne, Luke McCallum and Nathan Marsh first use, while Ben Devlin, Justin Garth and Liam Offer are the keys to their defense.
Stawell has Ben Williamson, Jack Duke, Daniel Parkin and Adam Taylor in good form while Scott Nicholson and Shane Field will be called on to create a winning score.
Both teams have plenty to play for and match up well against each other but I’m selecting the Diggers in a close contest by 17 points.
Warrack Eagles v Nhill
After regaining some credibility with their win over the Saints last week after a poor showing against Horsham, the Warrack Eagles face another serious challenge in the form of the resurgent Nhill Tigers.
The Eagles will go into the game with confidence but need to be aware of a Nhill team that is finally playing the type of footy coach Sean Bayzand was looking for.
They have former AFL players Daniel Hargraves and Chris Ladhams on fire, picking up possessions but importantly kicking goals, while favourite son Simon Brearley has returned to the senior team and contributed.
The Eagles will need to push Andrew Bell back to Hargraves, while Travis Walder will probably go to centre half back and pick up James Phillip.
The Eagles have a Western Bulldogs type forward line with no great tall players but clever goalkickers like Cade Wellington, Brad Krahe and Anthony McKenzie. Bayzand will have to make sure he doesn’t go in too top heavy in defense.
These two always have great contests, and expect nothing different here. The Eagles should come out on top but need to ensure they come to play or the Tigers will jump them and cause an upset. The Eagles to win by 11 points.
Minyip Murtoa v Ararat
How do you assess the form of Minyip Murtoa? With such a star-studded line-up you would think they should be in a better position on the ladder than fifth, and kicking more goals instead of averaging only 62 points a game.
They have the worst performed forward line in the competition, so where can they improve? Maybe it’s time to put Clinton Midgley back to the square, supported by Lenny Clark and push their best players like John Delahunty, Chris Delahunty, Adam Carter and Adam Gerdtz into the midfield to generate some forward drive.
With Ararat undermanned and having three key players in Dale Bligh, Leigh Dadswell and Peter Thompson under injury clouds, it’s the Kookaburras best chance to start building.
Ararat will get plenty out of Alan Batchelor, Jake Miocic, Jarrod Searle and Tom Cashin while Ben Harrison should go to Midgley and young beanpole ruckman Josh Mace will get a baptism of fire against Clark, Daniel Smith and Brent Hudson.
Surely if Minyip Murtoa harbour any plans to play finals they must beat Ararat and should win by 47 points.
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Posted on Jun 10 2009