Sydney AFL Finals Week 1: Match Previews

With six of our teams playing in finals this weekend and our Prems women having the week off before their final’s campaign begins, let’s take a look at the match ups around the grounds.

Premier Division (2nd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Sunday, 3:20pm
  • Venue: Henson Park
  • Opposition: Sydney Uni (3rd)

If the two games against Sydney Uni this year are anything to go by, the Doggies are in for a hell of a contest this Sunday in their qualifying final. In Round 6, they took out a 1 point win at Henson Park whilst in Round 13, Sydney Uni had revenge with a 5 point win at Sydney Uni No.1. Our boys have won four out of their last five games and will be looking to take this form deep into the finals series. They’ll have to curtail Sydney Uni’s athletic forward Tristan Davies who averages 5 goals a game to stay ahead of the Students at the final buzzer.

Premier Division Reserves (3rd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Sunday, 1:10pm
  • Venue: Henson Park
  • Opposition: Pennant Hills (2nd)

Pennant Hills have been a bogey team for the Reserves so far this season, with both matches going to the Demons in close contests. The Round 11 loss was only one goal, but coach Ryan Farrelly will be looking for his players to rebound strongly after the Demons handed them a four goal loss last weekend. Both teams this year have averaged 11 goals a game, with the Doggies sure to block the corridor to limit Pennant Hill’s Anthony Brawn who has bagged 45 goals this season.

Division Two (2nd on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Saturday, 4:40pm
  • Venue: Kanebridge Oval
  • Opposition: Camden (3rd)

With 14 wins a piece and a for and against differential of 1%, this match promises to be a cliff hanger. Whilst our boys will go in slight favourites having won eight on the trot, and both contests against Camden this season, they’ll have to combat playing under lights on an unfamiliar field to get the win. Doggies coaches Josh Tighe and Paul Grafen will be looking to neutralise the impact of Camden duo Benjamin Reid and Jared Mullaney who have been named nine times in the best this season, whilst also keeping a close eye on Matt Lecek and Adam Noyce who have combined for 67 goals.

Division Three (5th on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Sunday, 9:00am
  • Venue: Kanebridge Oval
  • Opposition: Camden (4th)

Our Division 3 men have been beaten twice by Sydney Uni this year, but this elimination final is sure to bring out their best. Coach Dennis Rider had his team in a similar position last year, and will be looking for his squad to go one better in 2018. The Students are in strong form coming into the final, having won four out of their last five, but the Dogs will be spearheaded by journeymen Troy Nicoll, Chris Trail, and David Backler whose passion and experience should steer the Dogs to victory this weekend.

Under 19s Division One (1st on the ladder)

  • Time and day: Saturday, 12:40pm
  • Venue: Kanebridge Oval
  • Opposition: St George (2nd)

It’s been a terrific season for our Under 19s Division 1 lads who recorded only one blemish on their scorecard after 17 rounds. Wrapping up the minor premiership was a nice milestone for Kevin Dyson’s troops but it’s an accolade that will be forgotten now that the final series is underway. They take on second place St George in the major semi final, and will be looking to go out hard and get the win to take them straight through to the Grand Final. Whilst they’ve beaten the Dragons on both occasions during the season, the winning margin hasn’t been over three goals so our boys will need to bring some heavy fire power on Saturday to ensure they get the week off. Look for Charlie Burgess-Hoar to add to his 50 goal tally and for a cracking contest between Errol Gulden and St George’s Caleb Felton.

Under 19s Division Two (4th on ladder)

  • Time and day: Saturday, 9:00am
  • Venue: Kanebridge Oval
  • Opposition: North Shore (5th)

Our Under 19s squad has operated under a mantra of #one19s through 2018, and the tireless work by all involved to commit to this vision has been rewarded with both teams making it into finals. The Division 2 team come up against North Shore who they’ve only played once this season, going down by a four goal margin despite having more scoring shots than the opposition. If the boys can kick straight on the weekend, they’ll be looking to claim revenge in the elimination final out at Kanebridge Oval. Coach Tim Byrne’s will be urging his players to look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it to keep their final’s (and Shakespearean) dreams alive.

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