Noradjuha-Quantong chase third straight flag | 2017 HDFNL grand final

TRIFECTA: Can Noradjuha-Quantong win a third straight under-17s premiership or will the Swifts upset the side that has made it through the season undefeated?
TRIFECTA: Can Noradjuha-Quantong win a third straight under-17s premiership or will the Swifts upset the side that has made it through the season undefeated?

BEFORE the seniors and reserves take to Horsham City Oval in the afternoon four different clubs will face off in the under-17s and under14s grand finals.


Noradjuha-Quantong v Stawell Swifts

THE undefeated Bombers will start firm favourites having enjoyed a week off before lining up against the Swifts in the under-17 grand final.

During the regular season Noradjuha-Quantong compiled a 64-point win against the Swifts in round 10. 

After the two sides finished first and second the Bombers again beat the Baggies in the first semi-final by 44-points to progress to the grand final. Bombers coach Heath Francis said he was certainly still wary of his opponents. “Our guys have been playing really good football but past results count for little at this point, they just give us some confidence,” he said. “We know that you can go through a season undefeated and then get beaten because we did it to the Swifts a couple of seasons ago.”

Swifts coach Tim Chatfield also mentioned the 2015 grand final result. “I think what happened to us a few years ago will be in the back of their minds,” Chatfield said.

“They have got a bit to worry about. They had the week off but that isn’t always an advantage.”

Chatfield said he is confident his team can get the job done despite the opposition’s perfect record. “We have learnt things each time we played them,” he said. “There are indicators that show we have what it take to match them on the day.”

The Baggies are coming off a preliminary final win against Harrow-Balmoral where they kicked 10 second-half goals to storm into the grand final. “If we can carry our form on from the second half performance of last week we will be able to take it up to them,” Chatfield said. “We have to go out there and play pressure footy from the first bounce. We can’t allow them to control the game in any way.”

Francis just wanted his team to continue doing what it had done all season in order to give itself the best chance of winning a third straight flag. “This group has really improved during the season,” he said.

“That has come down to putting in hard work at training and playing together well as a team.

“We know the Swifts have a few very handy players through the midfield but we are focused on what we have to do to win.”


Pimpinio v Taylors Lake

BOTH clubs will break new ground when their teams run onto City Oval for the under-14s grand final.

It will be Pimpinio’s first chance to win an under-14 premiership while Taylors Lake will have its first ever junior football side in a grand final.

Pimpinio finished the season on top of the ladder and enjoyed a week off before after it defeated Laharum in the first semi-final.

Ash Webb and Brett Thompson have guided the Pimpinio side throughout the season.

“The biggest thing for the boys will be to play as a team,” Webb said. “We have focused on teaching them the basics this season and they’ve always done what we have asked them to do.”

Pimpinio comfortable accounted for Taylors Lake in round eight of the regular season but finals football can produce different results.

The Lakers finished third on the ladder but won their way into the grand final by defeating the Swifts then Noradjuha-Quantong.

An upset 5.8 (38) to 3.5 (23) win against Laharum in the preliminary final allowed the Lakers to make it through to the decider.

Taylors Lake coach Brad Taylor said it was to the boys credit that they have managed to get this far. “There is a bit of a buzz around the club at the moment,” he said. “The boys have put in a lot of hard work to get here.”

Taylor said stopping the run of Pimpinio through the midfield would be crucial in the match.

Webb agreed the centre line would be critical in deciding the result. “I think that’s where it will be won or lost,” he said. “If we can manage to get on top in the centre then we are confident in what we can do.”