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HDFNL GRAND FINAL: Odds favour Harrow-Balmoral Roos in an upset

HB coach Paul Cleaver.

Harrow-Balmoral coach Paul Cleaver.

By DEAN LAWSON
Harrow-Balmoral will defy form, previous results, the opinion of 90 percent of fans and even logic to win Horsham District football league’s senior grand final on Saturday.
If ever there was a grand-final upset on the boil, then Saturday’s big game at Horsham City Oval certainly qualifies.
Goodness knows what odds the private punters are giving the Roos to beat the Southern Mallee Giants in the season finale – they would be all over the place.
Results this year show Harrow-Balmoral and the Giants have met three times, with the Giants prevailing in all three – at Hopetoun in round three, Balmoral in round 14 and most recently in a semi-
final at Laharum.
This of course followed last year’s grand final when the Giants enjoyed premiership success – against Harrow-Balmoral.
But what’s interesting when weighing up the odds, is the Giants’ winning margins this year against the Roos.
In round three they won by 33 points, in round 14 it was four and in the final it was 29.
There have been no blow-out results, which, based on the vagaries of chance, including last year’s finish, means the odds of a result going the other way increase dramatically every time the teams meet.
Nonsense? Perhaps! But it was a formula by which the likes of former Collingwood star and Minyip premiership coach Ron Wearmouth swore by. It certainly came true for him and his team.

Southern Mallee Giants coach Shaun Monohan. Southern Mallee Giants vs Harrow-Balmoral 2nd Semi Final at Laharum.

Southern Mallee Giants coach Shaun Monohan.


The Roos and Giants might not have played enough times for chance to heavily swing a result the Roos’ way, but it certainly adds an extra dimension to what already looms as an exciting clash.
The two teams playing off in the senior final are far and away the best two outfits in the competition.
They set the pace early and quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
The Giants haven’t lost a game, while the Roos’ only losses have come against the Giants, and this year the distance between the sides has definitely narrowed. Saturday’s contest is more than a simple finals clash between two traditional district clubs – it is more akin to an inter-regional representative challenge.
The Giants represent a fair chunk of the southern Mallee based around Beulah and Hopetoun, while the Roos fly the flag for the region’s south-west red-gum country.
The contest will be tough and might well evolve into a match between Harrow-Balmoral’s midfield momentum and the Giants’ power-packed forward line.
Last week the Roos brushed injury-crippled Jeparit-Rainbow aside in a one-sided preliminary final in what swept the likes of Eric Guthrie, Hugh Douglas, Will Plush and Scott Heath into form. The team is loaded with talent, with others such as Sam Brewer, Greg Hamilton, Anthony Close and Peter Staude all lining up for big games.
Fans should also keep an eye out for what Nick Pekin does in the season climax.
Harrow-Balmoral coach Paul Cleaver said he wasn’t banking on any magic formula to get across the line and dismissed the idea of odds starting to turn in his team’s favour.
“It comes down to winning more areas on the ground than your opponent and playing your best footy on the big stage – that’s what determines whether you win or lose,” he said.
“I feel like this game is one that has been talked about for a very long time and everyone is finally glad to get there.”
While the Roos have had a busy but relatively untroubled passage into the grand final, the Giants have had some hiccups and swing some changes for the big game.
For a start, coach Shaun Monohan, who suffered a broken leg during the season, will be directing traffic from the sidelines.
Clint Burdett had a season-ending knee injury during the year and Lou White will also be missing, suffering a broken leg during the semi-
finals.
But Monohan will have Haydn Drew back from a rest and Brock Orval in the side from suspension.
Monohan said the Giants had considerable respect for the Roos but would stick with a simple game plan of winning the ball in the clinches and pushing it to a forward line featuring Kain Robins, Riley Lehmann and Sam White.
All three key forwards were dangerous against the Giants when the teams last met.
“I wouldn’t think we’d change things too much.,” Monohan said. “We’ve been playing good footy. The most important thing is form and winning form is good form.”
The Giants are loaded with quality players with Coleman Schache a standout and others such as Luke Mahony, Dale Shannon and Sam Weddell to all have a major influence on the outcome.
The talent in both sides is expansive, which all but guarantees that the tempo will be hot for the duration.
The expectation is that the contest will go to the wire and this time it will be the Southern Roos who prevail by 13 points.

Potential starting line-up, click HERE

The entire September 13, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Sep 13 2017

Posted by on Sep 13 2017. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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