K rock Football

Saturday Spotlight – GDFL Grand Final

THE GAMES

Seniors: Inverleigh (1st) vs. Thomson (2nd) @ The Gordon TAFE Oval, Saturday 2:15pm

Reserves: Bannockburn (1st) vs. North Geelong (5th) @ The Gordon TAFE Oval, Saturday 11:45am

AFL Barwon Under 19 Division 3: Corio (2nd) vs. St Joseph’s (3rd) @ The Gordon TAFE Oval, Saturday

THE BIG ONE

We’re still getting our heads around it, but we’re confronted on Saturday by a GDFL Grand Final that doesn’t feature Bell Post Hill for the first time since Belmont Lions defeated East Geelong in 2007. However, no one can argue we don’t have the best two sides of 2018 playing in the most important game of the year. Inverleigh won both home-and-away meetings with Thomson – by 45 points in Round 6 and 38 points in Round 17, which will see them start as warm favourites.

CRUCIAL DAY FOR

When Inverleigh co-captain Justin DiBlasio faced the media earlier this week he said there were no excuses for the Hawks who are chasing their first premiership since coming out of recess in 2002. With GFL clubs rumoured to be circling some Inverleigh’s talented youngsters, this might be the Hawks’ best opportunity to claim some elusive silverware.

HEAVY HEARTS FOR HAWKS

Inverleigh will wear yellow armbands on Saturday in memory of two-year-old Noah Kelley. Kelley, who died suddenly on Monday, is the son of Jacqui and Bill Kelley. Jacqui is a life member of the Hawks. Our deepest sympathies to the Kelley and Cations families and the Inverleigh Football Netball Club community.

THE MATCH-UP

Blake Hutchinson (Inverleigh) vs. Reece Holwell (Thomson). Two of the competition’s toughest midfielders will no doubt cross paths at stages on Saturday afternoon. The ‘no holds barred’ approach of both will be something to behold, especially if the weather is a bit scratchy.

THE CHANGE

Early Thursday afternoon word was starting to spread through local football circles that Inverleigh had dropped co-captain Justin DiBlasio to make room for Mitch Elford. Unfortunately for ‘Gutty’ the rumours were on the mark. Saturday will prove whether Mark McDowell made the right decision or not.

THE NUMBER

100. Not one team has topped the ton during this year’s final series. Thomson owns the highest score over the first five games, kicking 13.11 (89) in the first semi-final win over Geelong West.

SPLIT ALLEGIANCES

Who will Inverleigh’s last premiership coach Arthur Hodgson be barracking for on Saturday? Hodgson, who guided the then Leigh Districts to the GDFL Division 2 title in 1992, has a decision to make with son Andrew a key player for Thomson.

THE QUOTE

“If we doze for a five or six-minute period, they’ll put four or five goals on us in that time.” – Thomson co-coach Reece Holwell.

THE TEAMS

GDFL TEAMS – GRAND FINAL