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Too close to call

Saturday, 7th September, 2019

South’s Marc Purcell and North’s Jayden Kelly with the TC Gunn Cup ahead of today’s A Grade Final. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling South’s Marc Purcell and North’s Jayden Kelly with the TC Gunn Cup ahead of today’s A Grade Final. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling

By Emily McInerney

Locals will be getting a sense of familiarity running into the AFL Broken Hill league grand final this afternoon.

However, it could be a close contest with North feeling confident.

In the 2018 grand final, South were the clear favourites coming into the game having gone 15-0 in the regular season with an average winning margin of 78.6 points. 

But as is often the case, anything can happen on grand final day and it almost did as North produced a fantastic effort to give the Roos an almighty fright.

The same could be predicted today with North fielding a side that includes experienced players like Borlace, Henderson, Beavan, Dempster, Johnson, Morgan and, of course, Kelly.

Player coach Codie Howard felt confident during the week that North could come produce the goods.

“I’m confident with the squad I’ve got,” Howard said. “We’re all excited.

“We came into training on Monday after a good win with a challenging West side.

“It also helped that there were no injuries so we were able to recover well.

“We are excited for the weekend ahead.”

Howard believes he will see remarkable play from all of his team.

“I think we will get something out of all 22 players,” he said.

“Kelly, Beavan were a bit quieter over the weekend, but that’s when the others stood up.”

Howard said he did have a different game plan prepared for South.

“West and South are different sides, so we do have a bit of a different game style. We’ve been mindful of that all year.

“We will just ensure that we accommodate those different match-ups.

“If we can match South in certain positions, I’m very, very confident we can win.

“There is a great feeling around the club.

“I would really like to thank the great support from all grades, the club and the committee.”

South coach Drew Mashford said they had a good two weeks on the track.

“With the exception of Nick Agius and Zach Doyle, who we lost early in the season to injury, we’re going in at full strength.

“I think we will see some very good games from Johns, Riley Schorn, Gepp and Angus Collins.

“Everyone is fighting fit.”

Mashford said it had been a challenge to choose a side as everyone had shown how strong they were.

The unlucky ones for South were Jye Smith, Simon O’Brien and Connor Washbrook.

“It’s hard to cut players, most of the boys have played in a senior premiership.

“For young Adam Slattery it will be his first grand final at only 15 years old.”

South will have the height and strength in today’s game; Reavill, Henderson, Browne and Davidson will come out firing.

“We’ve had a really good week, with Marc Purcell and Cody Schorn being recognised at the Lionel Johnston Medal count,” Mashford said.

“We had seven in the team of the year - it was great.

“We’ve played North five times and this is our ninth grand final.

“We will go in with a game plan and hope we can execute that the best on the day.

“We are feeling confident with our experienced team.

“We were four games clear and on the top of the ladder. 

“That speaks volumes, we will go in with a plan and make North match up on us.”

North will be looking to redeem themselves from last year’s grand final where they only lost by 14 points.

It is certainly shaping up as a strong and competitive game, worthy of a grand final.

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