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BH ready for Miners Cup

Saturday, 7th June, 2014

Co-captain Jayden Kelly was in a typically relaxed mood during a final training session yesterday afternoon. PICTURE: Ethan James Co-captain Jayden Kelly was in a typically relaxed mood during a final training session yesterday afternoon. PICTURE: Ethan James

By Balldock

Broken Hill is in Adelaide today for the seventh instalment of the Miners Cup, with the record standing at three wins apiece.

A win today for the locals will see them leading the head-to-head battle with Far North for the first time.

Selection of any side can be a nightmare for coaches, and the selection of this year’s combined team has again thrown up the odd surprise or even shock.

After the initial side was picked it suffered two losses with Howard and Milne dropping out due to injury. They have been replaced by Boland and

McInnes, who I thought should have been in the original team ahead of some under performers.

The BH side will again be led by North’s Jayden Kelly and South’s Jordan Johns with West Matt Nelson as the deputy.

Playing combined games like these is like stepping into the unknown - you know very little about the opposition, and the same could be said by

Far North - but to be honest we don’t have to care about their team, we just hope we are better on the day.

Defensively we are very strong with Dempster, Schinckel and Westley named on the last line. Over the years Far North have usually had a tall key forward so Schinckel will get the taller forward while we will be looking for some run and carry from Westley and Dempster playing their usual tight defensive game.

The half back of Staker, Browne and O’Brien is probably the best in the business and they will be the backbone of our defence. I would expect plenty of run from this line which will set up many scoring chances down field.

Don’t be surprised to see Staker have a ping or two himself with the run that he provides. O’Brien’s long kicks to advantage will also be a highlight on the wide open spaces of the Adelaide Oval.

Across the middle we will start with three in-form players Beavan, Kelly and Pettitt. All find the hard ball and they work hard around the ground and provide plenty of drive from the stoppages with constructive ball use.

Beavan has been rewarded for an outstanding season so far while Pettitt, even after a late start to his season, was a walk up start after his debut last year in this competition.

The forward half for BH is an impressive unit with multiple options and proven goalkicking power. Blacksell will go to the square. He has proven to be a go-to target this season with 32 goals from seven games and the wide open spaces should suit his strong leads.

The half forward line will hold the key for Broken Hill. Their mobility, strength and workrate will cause Far North a few headaches throughout the afternoon.

Schorn is a gun forward while Bird will control the ball movement coming forward as he will be the key marking target. Purcell should be dangerous at ground level with his ability to just win the hard ball.

Broken Hill’s X factor will finally get his chance and I think McInnes will cause more havoc up forward for Far North than they have ever experienced. Those happy feet will set the Adelaide Oval alight.

Broken Hill will get its heartbeat from the middle with Nelson leading the way. The locals should get first hands on the footy, and with so much space to work in Johns, Kelly and Shapter could well have a field day. All work extremely hard around the stoppages  and their delivery will provide BH with many forward thrusts. This will give the forwards plenty of scoring chances.

Broken Hill also has a very strong interchange bench with a mix of height and run. Dalby, Henderson and Boland can play up forward or even across the middle with an option to do some ruck work as well while Cox and Gepp will give the side plenty of run and carry.

The makeup of the side is fairly adaptable with a number of players capable of playing multiple positions with rotations through the middle, for example.

Broken Hill must take their chances in front of goal, use the ball very well and work hard to run Far North off their feet.

With uncertainty surrounding the future of this competition it would be great to claim the trophy and keep it - and that’s what I think will happen.

Broken Hill will again be too strong for Far North and win this seventh instalment of the Miners Cup today.

Broken Hill by 27 points.

Adelaide Oval  12.30pm
Last Start - Broken Hill 13.16 (94) d Far North 8.8 (56)
Head to Head  -  Broken Hill 3 - Far North 3

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