UNDER PRESSURE: Harrow-Balmoral’s Daniel Brody fires out a handball against Taylors Lake. Brody and the Roos will take on Edenhope-Apsley on Saturday before facing them again in the first week of finals. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERGround: Edenhope Showground,Saturday, 2.20pm.
Umpires: R. Morrow, J. Brand and G. Schutz.
Last time they met: Round nine, 2014. Harrow-Balmoral 13.10 (88) d Edenhope-Apsley 10.6 (66).
SATURDAY’Sfinal-round meeting between Edenhope-Apsley and Harrow-Balmoral shapes as one of the most intriguing home and away games of the year.
There is an insurmountable percentage gap between the fourth-placed Roos and the top three, meaning the Roos and the Saints will meet in an elimination final eight days from Saturday.
The match is essentially a dead rubber, but both Harrow-Balmoral coach Brent Forsyth and Edenhope-Apsley coach Grant Coxon admitted the psychological advantage of a win on Saturday would be significant in the finals.
Both stressed the importance of playing at their best.
“Two players who could play seniors could also qualify for reserves finals instead, and do some of our under-17s go back to make sure we hold onto third spot there?” he said.
“We’ve got a couple of senior players out as well so you have to look at it from a wider club perspective, but at the same time you want to get a mental edge on them.”
Matt Close is unavailable for selection and leading goal-kicker Tom Clissold is out with a groin complaint.
Mark Riley is questionable after being a late withdrawal at the weekend with illness.
Coxon said he expected the trio would be ready to play in the first week of finals.
Forsyth said Harrow-Balmoral would bring David Vickery, Matt Robertson, Will Rowsthorn and Peter Staude into the side, with outs likely to include injured pair Quentin Willmott and Nathan Neumann.
Forsyth said his team would hold nothing back as it looked to take winning form into the finals.
“We want to hit this game full-throttle,” he said.
“We’re looking to win every game from here on in, even though we know we play them again in a week.
“Our performance on Saturday was a bit disappointing but we have moved on from that and we’re only concentrating on Edenhope-Apsley now.”
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