BY NATHAN DOLE
BALRANALD will be trying to stop Kerang’s winning streak in Saturday’s second semi-final in the Central Murray FNL senior footy action.
The Kangaroos or Blues will advance to the grand final of the Radio 3SH-backed competition by winning the semi at Balranald’s Greenham Park.
Play begins at 2.30pm.
A 16-nil run by the Troy Coates-coached Kerang includes hard-fought wins against Balranald by margins of eight points in round six at Riverside Park, and the 17th on Balranald’s turf.
The reigning premier watched on as Balranald won last Saturday’s qualifying final against Woorinen by 13 points.
Seth Connell and Drew Lloyd kicked three goals in the Roos’ victory.
Players to watch for Balranald include Kobe Lloyd, Jaxon and Matt Neagle, and Jordan Wilkins.
It will be a big challenge for Kangaroos’ midfielders Tom Salau, Drew Lloyd and Ian Fuller against Josh Hann, Blues’ captain Josh Nitschke and Troy Coates.
Kerang has an experienced on-ball division of Nick Lang, Martin Kelly and Sam Heavyside up against Jordan Wilkins, Colin Andrews and Kobe Lloyd.
The Neagles – Jydon, Jaxon and Matt were all named on the Roos’ half-back line.
Key targets in Kerang’s attack include Michael Dalrymple, Ryan Gillingham and Caleb Nitschke.
Big test for Roos’ defenders Toby Lay, Jack Salau and Harrison Soraggi.
Balranald has had Ben Fuller, Seth Connell and Ethan Gant cap many atacking moves this season.
A tight-knit Blues’ defence is led by Troy Davis, Josh and Sean Hunter.
Woorinen takes on the in-form Nyah Nyah West United in Sunday’s first semi-final at Barham from 2.30pm.
In round 11, Woorinen scored a 64-45 win against the Demons.
The Tigers are on the rebound from a 19-point loss to Balranald in the qualifying final.
Woorinen’s best last Saturday were Taylor Cameron, Doug Beames, Robbie Miller and Danko Bzenic.
One of the most important roles for the Tigers will be at full-back where Ben Booth was named to take on the in-form Hassan Ahmat Watkins.
Other key players for the yellow and black include ruckman Lachlan Gardner, Dylan Godwin in the centre, and Will Collicoat in attack.
Nyah Nyah West United has won six of its past seven matches.
Sole defeat in that run was by a point against Kerang in the 14th round.
The Demons fired up for a 103-59 victory against Lake Boga in the elimination final as Joel Walsh, Dean Harrop, Zack Threadgold and Kayne Davidson were best.
On-ballers in Matt Gibbs, Nicholas O’Neill and Kayne Davidson will be crucial at centre ball-ups and stoppages.
Other players to watch for the red and blue include Ethan Saville in the centre, Zack Threadgold at half-back, and Charlie Boulton, Riley Daniels and Jarrod Stokes in attack.
In the reserves it will be the unbeaten Kerang against Woorinen in Saturday’s second semi-final from 12.25pm at Balranald.
Only defeats for the Woorinen Tigers in the home-and-away series were to Kerang by 46 points in round seven, and 69 in the 18th at Riverside Park.
The Tigers won the qualifying final against Nyah Nyah West United by 10 goals as William Rush, Tim Gammon, Matt King and Kyle Steicke led the way.
Nyah Nyah West United and Lake Boga will fight to stay in the premiership race when they play in Sunday’s first semi from 12.25pm at Barham.
Both of their meetings this season went Lake Boga’s way by margins of 26 and 25 points in the second and 12th round.
The Pies won their elimination final against Mallee Eagles by 53 points as Nelson Ibbs, Patrick Bryan, Shannon O’Reilly and Mitch Whitfield were best.
It will be Woorinen against Kerang in the Colts second semi-final at 10.20am on Saturday.
The Tigers are unbeaten, but did draw the round seven clash with Kerang.
Scores were 48-all at the end of the match on Woorinen’s turf.
The Tigers marked a convincing 102-23 win at Kerang in the 18th round.
Hugh Thompson kicked nine goals in a best afield performance as Otto Conlan, William Rush and Shaun Kirby also starred for the yellow and black.
Kerang kicked off its finals campaign with a 51-38 victory against Lake Boga in the qualifying final.
Mason Dibsdale, Lachlan Somerville, Cooper Meehan and Pat Oliver were best for the Blues.
Lake Boga faces Swan Hill in Sunday’s first semi at Barham from 10.20am.
In round 10 the Magpies swooped for a 96-56 win at Swan Hill.
A big threat to Lake Boga’s chances in the semi will be Shannon Polglase who kicked six goals as the Swans marked a 95-58 victory in the elimination final against Koondrook Barham.
Players to watch for the Swans include Sonny Beasy, Wilhem Bennett, Bodhi Kelly and Steven Polglase.
It will be Lake Boga against Tooleybuc Manangatang in the second semi of the Mildura Health Fund under-14 ½ competition at 9am on Saturday.
Their only meeting in the home-and-away was in the 11th round where Lake Boga won 30-10 at home.
The Saints from Tooleybuc Manangatang marked a 41-15 win against Kerang in the qualifying final.
Kerang takes on Swan Hill in the first semi on Sunday from 9am at Barham.
In round 11 the Blues beat the Swans, 44-33 at Kerang.
Swan Hill won a closely-fought elimination final against Nyah Nyah West United by five points.