24.9°C 03:00 pm

Crunch time

Friday, 5th September, 2014

South co-captains Heidi Drenkhahn (left) and Shenae Austin are hoping to lead their side to a win in the preliminary final against Central tomorrow. South co-captains Heidi Drenkhahn (left) and Shenae Austin are hoping to lead their side to a win in the preliminary final against Central tomorrow.

If their recent history is anything to go by, the preliminary final between South and Central will go right down to the wire.

Only two competition points separated the sides at the end of the season, while their last three matches have been decided by a mere 13 points.

South co-captain Heidi Drenkhahn believes her club is a realistic chance of toppling the defending premiers and earning a maiden spot in the final game of the year.

"In the last few weeks we've really been focusing on increasing intensity during training to help prepare us for the finals," she said.

"We've also been doing whiteboard sessions to go through gameplay options and specific scenarios.

"Keys to success for us will be accountability and scoreboard reward for possession.

"When we've achieved those this season we've been hard to beat."

Adding to the intrigue, a number of players swapped from the 'Pies to the red and whites in the off season.

Central coach Stephen Chestnut said his side had 'come good' at the right end of the season.

The 'Pies enter the match having won three of their last four.

"A lot of the girls who haven't played before have come along in leaps and bounds towards the end of the season," Chestnut said.

"The more experienced players have been great in helping the younger ones along."

Chestnut said the likes of Makayla Berg, Mel Scott, Tayla Daniele, Kereen Pascoe and Ann-Marie Ede were some of the biggest improvers.

Their last meeting in round 14 saw Central win by three points, while their round eleven clash went the way of the Roos 33-32.

Matches have typically been low scoring, with Chestnut say the two teams were obviously evenly matched in defence.

He said his team's big game experience was crucial in a big game.

"I think the key is getting a good start so there isn't that pressure there," he said.

"In the last quarter the fitter side will come through.

"It will come down to kicking straight as well, we've had pretty low scoring games against them all season so you have to make the most of your opportunities."

Jubilee Oval,
Saturday 11:55am
Head-to-head: Central 3, South 2
Last Start: Central 2.11 (23) def. South 3.2 (20)
Form Guide: Central LWWW, South WLLW

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