Harrow-Balmoral v Swifts

PASS: Harrow Balmoral's Daniel Brody dishes off a handball. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
PASS: Harrow Balmoral's Daniel Brody dishes off a handball. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Ground: Harrow Recreation Reserve, tomorrow, 2.20pm.

Umpires: C. Pickering, D. Gloury and T. Pritchett.

Last time they met: Round seven, 2014. Swifts 14.10 (94) d Harrow-Balmoral 12.13 (85).

SATURDAY'S Harrow-Balmoral and Swifts match might be the single most important game remaining in the home and away season.

The Baggies, who sit third on the ladder, and Roos, fourth, are equal on points and will face off for a top-three finish and the right to play in a qualifying final.

Both believe a double-chance in the finals is within their grasp, but neither thinks a win will come easily.

In their round seven clash, the Baggies led from the start but could not put the Roos away, eventually winning by nine points.

With tomorrow's game at Harrow Recreation Reserve rather than the familiar confines of Stawell's North Park, Swifts coach Paul Hanns said the team needed to maximise every opportunity.

After falling in preliminary finals in 2011 and 2012 and the semi-final last year, Hanns said the players knew the importance of a top-three finish.

"We want to make our own destiny and make it certain that we get a top-three spot," he said.

"The boys know how hard it is to make a grand final, and get there with some legs after the past few years.

"If we don't come home with a win, there is a massive chance we will drop out of the top three, and we don't want to let that happen."

Baggies coach Ben Martin will return to bolster the forward line after serving a one-match suspension for striking.

Harrow-Balmoral will also regain key forward Brent Penny and Luke Merryfull.

Matt Robertson is unavailable and Gerard Whennan will drop back to the reserves.

Roos coach Brent Forsyth said a return to basics would help the team recapture its dominant early-season form.

"We've been looking for plan B for quite a while, when in reality our plan A has been pretty good all along," he said.

"We adjusted things when we really didn't need to, and on Saturday we went back to the line-up that got us off to a flyer and dominated in the second half.

"This game is a final for us. You could say our finals campaign starts now."

Forsyth said the Baggies would have the added disadvantage of dealing with a long road trip from Stawell.

Hanns said it was a good chance for his players to shake the perception they were vulnerable in away games.


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