BY NATHAN DOLE
HAY and Macorna will be vying to stay in the Golden Rivers FNL’s senior footy premiership race in Saturday’s first semi-final.
The Lions and Tigers will clash at Moulamein Recreation Reserve from 2.40pm.
A win-loss tally of 10-6 by Hay in the home and away series included wins against Macorna by margins of one point, 37 and 48 points.
The Lions will start hot favourite to beat the Tigers who achieved a record of 5-11 in the home and away series to be fourth.
Clearly Macorna’s best match against Hay was in round four.
On that day the Lions’ goalkicking accuracy was key as it won 14.8 (92) to 13.13 (91) at Hay Recreation Reserve.
Simon Bunyan led the Lions’ attack on five goals as Lachlan Ritchie kicked eight for the yellow and black.
In round 10, Hay was able to mark a 94-57 victory.
Declan Watson dominated in the forward 50m arc to kick nine goals for the Lions.
Macorna’s leading goalkickers were Lachlan Ritchie, three; and Josh Cameron, two.
In round 15, Hay again marked another home win against Macorna by eight goals.
Declan Watson kicked four goals in the 88-40 victory.
Macorna’s attack was led by Josh Walters on three.
There will be many key match-ups in the first semi-final.
Hay’s on-ball division of James Moran, Fergus Cattanach and Will Clark will be up against Michael Roberts, Hunter Anset and Ethan Stone.
In the centre, Dom Booth faces Shaun Haffenden.
Main targets in Hay’s attack are Declan Watson, Jensen Hargreaves, and co-captain Kenneth Jubb.
Massive task for a Tigers’ defence led by Liam Roberts, Alex Ingleton and captain Malcolm Neiwand.
Macorna will look to Lachlan Ritchie, Josh Walters, Chris Wilson and Josh Cameron, to lead the way in attack against the likes of Hay co-captain Brad Pocock, Jack Cattanach and Andrew Low.
In the reserves, Wandella takes on Murrabit from 12.35pm.
This season’s meetings stand at two-one in favour of the Wandella Bombers.
In round three, Wandella won at home, 41-29.
Murrabit fired up for a 72-21 victory in the eighth round.
Most recent hit-out between the Bombers and Blues was in round 13 at Wandella where the red and black won 40-29.
It’s Wandella against Moulamein in the under-17 ½ first semi-final from 10.45am.
The Swans have won two of three contests with the Bombers.
Both of those wins were on Moulamein’s turf – 80-41 in round four, and 65-51 in the 15th round.
Wandella marked a 71-17 win against the Swans in the 10th round at the Hangar.
First of this year’s GRFNL footy finals will be the under-14 ½ match between Wandella and Moulamein at 9.35am.
In round four, Wandella won 155-nil on Moulamein’s turf.
The Bombers won 97-15 at home in the 10th round.
Latest meeting was in the 15th round at Moulamein where the Bombers cruised to a 77-8 win against the Swans.
Winners of the first semi-finals advance to the preliminary finals on September 9 at Macorna.
Schedule for second semi-finals on September 2 at Ultima FNC.
Under-14 ½ at 9.35am: Macorna v Ultima.
Under-17 ½ at 10.45am: Macorna v Ultima.
Reserves at 12.35pm: Ultima v Macorna.
Seniors at 2.40pm: Ultima v Moulamein.