No tomorrow for Hawks, Bombers

Wakool and Wandella will clash in tomorrow's Golden Rivers Football League first semi-final.

Wakool and Wandella will clash in tomorrow's Golden Rivers Football League first semi-final.

TWO teams, who at the start of the season were poles apart, will meet tomorrow in a quest to keep their Golden Rivers Football League premiership hopes alive.

Wakool and Wandella, who both finished the home and away season with a 10-6 record, will meet in in this year's first semi-final at Ultima.

For the Hawks, many of the players who take to the field will be aiming for history not to repeat.

The competition's reigning premiers are treading a path the club's 2007 players took, aiming for consecutive flags without the option of a double chance - which failed to eventuate seven years ago.

As for the Bombers, the club's return to finals after missing out last year is a credit to its decision to develop the club's younger players rather than recruit key personnel.

Wandella also goes into the game with added confidence, thanks to a four-game winning streak.

Following the club's narrow round 13 loss to Ultima, Blake Anderson's men have defeated Nullawil, Hay, Macorna and Murrabit - vital wins that secured fourth spot on the ladder.

The club will also want to make tomorrow a day to remember for triple premiership player Ben Taylor, who will play his 200th senior match.

As for Wakool, the club's second half of the season has gone in ebbs and flows, thanks to losses to Nullawil (round 10), Macorna (round 13) and Ultima (round 18).

Tomorrow's opponents have also split the points when it comes to their 2014 encounters.

Back in round three the Bombers came from behind to defeat an undermanned Wakool outfit by five points, whilst the Hawks prevailed at the Bombers' home ground by 15 points in round 12.

If the Bombers are to produce an upset result, they must stop Wakool spearhead Luke Kirkland from controlling the game.

The league's leading goalkicker for 2014 led the way on both occasions these sides met this year, kicking four goals in round three and five majors in round 12.

Joel Osbrough, who kept Sean Bedggood quiet in the Bombers' win against the Maroons during the second half of the year, will be given the role to stop Kirkland.

If Kirkland is kept quiet, Christ Hunt will need to find the form he produced when he was the Hawks' leading option in 2012. Expect either Matt Wilkinson or Dillon Treacy to take this role.

Justin Robinson will also provide assistance across the back half of the ground for the Bombers, with Gavin Cathie and Nick Farley to provide run across the defensive 50.

Brodey Farley may rotate with Anderson in the ruck for the Bombers, with these players aiming to stop Tony Hogg from dominating.

No matter which ruckman wins the hit-outs, there will be plenty of midfielders floating around the ball.

The Hawks rely on coach Locky Gleeson, Matt Sparey and Conlan Gunn to provide drive across the middle of the ground, whilst the likes of Peter Moore, Daniel Baker and Mitch Treacy generate the Bombers' speed.

Another of Wandella's strengths is its ability to rely on multiple goalkickers, ranging from Anderson at centre half-forward, Brodey Farley when he drifts into the forward line and Lachlan Bott, who has been used as a utility throughout the year.

Wakool's centre half-back, Shaun Delamare will be given the role to tag Anderson, with Ash Neal to battle either Brodey Farley or Bott in the Bombers' forward 50.

Wakool's other strength is its height, especially across the back half of the ground. Ranging from Reagan Hamilton at half-back flank, Callum Harding Davis in the middle and the all-round efforts for Paul Wheatley, the Hawks will have too many options to choose from when the ball is in the air.

PREDICTION: Wakool will keep its premiership hopes alive with a 20-point victory.

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