THE powerhouses of this year’s Horsham District league A Grade season will face off for the competition’s ultimate prize on Saturday afternoon.
If their last match was anything to go by, the grand final between minor premiers Laharum and last year’s premiers Natimuk United will go down to the wire.
The Mountain Maids went through the season undefeated, but fell to the Ewes by a goal in a semi-final. They bounced back against Edenhope-Apsley in the preliminary final to book their spot in the decider.
Ewes coach Cheryl Sudholz said you could not ask for a tighter contest or a more even on-court match-up between two teams.
“I can’t see it not being a close game,” she said.
“We are very evenly matched across the court. I don’t think there’s any match-ups that you can specifically pinpoint.
“If their goalies are on, they are very hard to stop.
“It will come down to human error and who can get the goals in on the day.”
Sudholz said having the week off coming into the grand final – and one before the semi-final – helped in some ways, but was not something her team loved.
“As much as it's nice to give girls who have niggles or injuries that extra week, we still don't really like it that much,” she said.
“We’ve tried to keep playing through practice matches to keep that match fitness up, because it disappears really quickly if you don’t keep playing.”
Laharum coach Rebecca McIntyre said her team was excited for the contest.
“I know our girls are really hungry to be able to hopefully get the club's first A Grade premiership in the history of the district league,” she said.
“It’s bigger than our team. It would be amazing for the club, particularly for people like Bianca Mibus, who has been there her whole life and whose mum, the late Michele Mibus, was such an amazing woman.
“I hope she's looking over us on Saturday.”
Mrs Mibus is a Laharum life member, and a club and Horsham District Football Netball League stalwart. She died in 2016.
McIntyre said whoever could keep their heads, be disciplined and adjust to the umpiring would likely prevail on Saturday.
“Natimuk are super experienced – that's something they definitely have on their side. We have the utmost respect for them,” she said.
But we have nothing to lose.”
McIntyre said her team would take to the court thankful for their chance at glory.
“We wanted to make the grand final and we've done that,” she said.
“We look forward to a really even contest and a great game for the spectators, and just enjoying it.
“There's so much build-up to a grand final, but we'll take a moment to just be grateful and proud.
“It's an amazing achievement in itself to make a grand final.”