Laharum hosts Harrow-Balmoral | Horsham District league

KEY PLAYER: Harrow-Balmoral's Simon Close has been in top form for the Southern Roos recently. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

KEY PLAYER: Harrow-Balmoral's Simon Close has been in top form for the Southern Roos recently. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

LAHARUM is riding a wave of momentum and will look to make it four wins in a row when it tackles the top of the table Southern Roos on Saturday at home. 

Boosted by the inclusion of playing coach Robbie Miller last week, both in terms of performance and on-field guidance, a finals spot is now Laharum’s to lose. 

“There’s no bigger challenge in the league right now than Harrow-Balmoral,” Miller said.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity of legitimising our spot in the top six, and it doesn’t come much harder than this.”

Laharum’s change in form has come at the right time. The Dees are now two points ahead of Natimuk United in sixth spot. The Rams have the bye this weekend and will take four points from that, so a loss to the Southern Roos will see Laharum slip back into seventh. 

“We are hoping the wins aren’t coming too late and we really want to make it four on the trot,” Miller said.

“If we win this weekend we won’t need to rely on other results. Last time against Harrow-Balmoral we were in a winning position but just ran out of legs in the last quarter. We need to play the clean and consistent football we know we are capable of.”

Miller said with a healthy list and some players in their best form so far this season, his side was in a good position.

“We have some sore bodies but we shouldn’t have any changes for this week,” he said.

“Tom Crawford has been huge for us recently in the backline and he has really controlled that. Angus Martin has been great for us as well with his work rate. Our whole back six has been pretty solid this year.”

Harrow-Balmoral playing coach Nick Pekin said a win on Saturday would go very close to ensuring his side wins the minor flag.

“We always go pretty hard at each other come game day so it will be an interesting game,” he said.

“They will be up and about and looking for a big scalp heading into finals. There’s a lot to play for and we want to hold onto top spot. If Swifts beat Kalkee and we win then we clinch the minor flag too.

“The conditions probably won’t allow for the best football to be played but it will come down to who takes their chances.”

Despite coming off the bye, Pekin said his side was still a few players off being full strength. 

“We should have Clint Robinson come back in but it’s pretty unlikely Will Plush will play,” he said. “Hamish Ellis is still waiting on the results from a few tests after a bad concussion. I thought we might have been full strength but we aren’t unfortunately.

“We’ve been working on our basic touch lately and getting the fundamentals right. We want to move the ball cleanly and fast if we can, under any conditions.”