Cohuna fights Kerang for premiership glory
LOCKED on a win apiece in this season’s showdowns, Cohuna and Kerang clash in Saturday’s senior footy grand final for the Central Murray Football Netball League.
The Kangas and Blues will fight for premiership glory from 2.40pm at Swan Hill Recreation Reserve.
Most recent meeting between the teams was the second semi-final at Kerang’s Riverside Park.
Although they went in as underdogs, the Kangas played inspired football to mark a 58-37 victory on the Blues’ turf.
Cohuna led 21-20 at half-time and 32-30 at a quarter to go.
The Kangas then added 4.2 to 1.1 in the final term as Thomas Toma, Oscar Cooke, Ben Archard and Jake Hammond were Cohuna’s best.
Michael Dalrymple, Lachlan Ross, Ryan Gillingham and Josh Nitschke played well for Kerang.
Only meeting between the grand finalists in the home-and-away series was in round eight where Kerang won 113 to 47 on the Kangas’ ground at Cohuna.
After the second semi-final defeat, Kerang bounced back in a big way to score an 82-point win against Woorinen in last Saturday’s preliminary final at Cohuna.
Troy Coates kicked seven goals in a best afield performance as Josh Hann, Bryce Curnow and Nick Stagg also starred.
Cohuna began the finals series by scoring a 92-77 win against Woorinen in the qualifying final on the Tigers’ turf.
The Kangas have not contested a CMFNL senior footy grand final since 2013 when runner-up to Kerang.
Cohuna was also beaten in the 2000 grand final by Nyah Nyah West United.
From 2008 to 2017, Kerang played in every senior grand final for a win-loss tally of seven-three.
The Blues were the league’s number one team six seasons in a row – 2012 to ’17.
There is plenty of grand final-winning experience in both line-ups to play on Saturday.
Cohuna has Joel Helman in the centre, as well as Tom Metherell, Tyson Findlay and Jarrod Findlay.
They were all premiership winners at North Bendigo in the Heathcote DFNL.
Another key player is former Golden Square star Thomas Toma.
Other key players for the Kangas are Brenton Conforti and Jake Hammond in defence, ruckman Ben Archard, ruck-rover Sam McGlone, and Rhys Free and Dylan Johnstone in attack.
Cohuna faces a tough task containing the firepower in Kerang’s forward line.
The Blues not only have Troy Coates in hot form, but also the marking power of Bryce Curnow who earned the Nalder medal as best on ground in Strathfieldsaye’s grand final win in the Bendigo FNL three years ago.
A talented Blues’ line-up also includes Nick Stagg, a premiership winner with Sandhurst, along with Martin Kelly in the centre, Sam Heavyside and Michael Dalrymple across the half-back line, Troy Davis in the ruck, and Ryan Gillingham in attack.
Teams for the CMFL senior footy grand final:
B: Brenton Conforti, Mason Fehring, Daniel Paterson.
Hb: Thomas Toma, Jake Hammond, Tom Metherell.
C: Oscar Cooke, Joel Helman, Josh Bird.
Hf: Jack Donat, Rhys Free, Daniel Coates.
F: Tyson Findlay, Dylan Johnstone, Riley Hird.
Foll: Ben Archard, Sam McGlone, Jarrod Findlay.
Inter: Cooper McLoughlan, Chris Anderson, Nathan Taylor, Patrick Doyle.
B: Jesse Clark, Brandon Hayes, Josh Hunter.
Hb: Sam Heavyside, Michael Dalrymple, Lachlan Ross.
C: Hayden Hall, Martin Kelly, Rylee Smith.
Hf: Sean Hunter, Bryce Curnow, Josh Nitschke.
F: Ryan Gillingham, Troy Coates, Michael Runciman.
Foll: Troy Davis, Josh Hann, Nick Stagg.
Inter: Nick Pay, Jack Daglish, Tyson Clingan, Bronson Booth.
Emerg: Sam Nitschke.
Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Swan Hill Recreation Reserve:
Under-14 ½ at 8.48am: Swan Hill v Lake Boga.
Under-17 ½ at 10.24am: Kerang v Lake Boga.
Reserves at 12.31pm: Kerang v Woorinen.
Seniors at 2.42pm: Cohuna Kangas v Kerang.
Written by Nathan Dole.
Photo Credit – Kerang FNC Facebook Page