NEWBRIDGE fights Mitiamo for the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s senior footy premiership on Saturday.
The battle between the Maroons and Superoos at Laser Plumbing Bendigo Oval in Bridgewater caps an outstanding Poyser Trucks Bendigo-backed finals series across the valley.
Both clubs have endured a markedly different run to the grand final.
Top of the ladder after the 18-round home and away series, Newbridge beat Maiden Gully YCW Eagles by 50 points in the second semi-final and a week’s rest to await the winner of the preliminary final.
The Superoos were fifth at the end of the regular season and have played brilliantly when it matters most.
Mitiamo won the elimination final against Bears Lagoon Serpentine by 79 points, and won a dramatic first semi against Pyramid Hill by a point.
The Superoos did not hop into the grand final, they charged to it as they slammed on 7.8 to 1.3 to defeat Maiden Gully YCW Eagles in the preliminary final by 36 points.
In the run to the finals, Newbridge won the round five clash at Mitiamo by 40 points.
The Maroons won the 14th round meeting with the Superoos by eight points.
Newbridge’s goalkicking power is a huge threat to Mitiamo’s chances.
Jordan Gilboy has kicked 72 goals in 17 matches and won the league goalkicking award.
Although limited to just seven games, Sam Mildren has booted 23 goals for Newbridge.
A premiership star with Strathfieldsaye Storm, Mildren kicked six goals in the second semi.
Rhys Ford has also played just seven games for the Maroons and is also on a season tally of 23.
A talented Newbridge line-up includes the marking strength of Tyler Romeril, the creative Tommy Horne, Nathan Bacon and Austin Fithall, the long-kicking Alex Code, and a defence led by Ash Trollop and Chris McLean.
Newbridge coach Brad Comer is capable of winning plenty of contests.
The player of the finals series is arguably Mitiamo gun forward Ryan Wellington.
A tally of 15 goals by the Superoos’ star across three finals includes hauls of seven in the elimination and preliminary finals.
Mitiamo coach Andy Grant will be urging the team to get the ball into Wellington’s zone as quickly as possible.
The Superoos have the experienced Lucas Matthews, Luke Lougoon and Jarryd Wiegard to lead the way.
A Michelsen Medallist when at Eaglehawk, Matthews is still racking up the possessions and teams well with Aaron McKean through the centre.
In-form players for Mitiamo include James Rozynski in attack, ruck-rover Terence Reeves, Max Simpson at centre half-forward, Dylan Clohesy on a wing, and Kyle Patten from half-back or at half-forward.
The Superoos will also look for another big game from number one ruckman Michael I’Anson.
Footy grand final schedule at Bridgewater:
Under-18s at 10.30am: Maiden Gully YCW Eagles v Pyramid Hill.
Reserves at 12.15pm: Bridgewater v Pyramid Hill.
Seniors at 2.15pm: Newbridge v Mitiamo.