CMFNL - Mid-match pressure

PRIMED: Kerang fine-tuned preparations for a 10th consecutive grand final appearance during training sessions this week. Picture — KEN JENKINS

PRIMED: Kerang fine-tuned preparations for a 10th consecutive grand final appearance during training sessions this week. Picture — KEN JENKINS

KERANG'S goal of a sixth consecutive Central Murray Football Netball League premiership could come down to how the club performs in the second and third quarters of tomorrow's grand final against Woorinen.

The Blues – who finished the season on top of the ladder with a 15-1 record – hold a strong record against the Tigers during the past six seasons.

Tomorrow will be the first time since 2012 the teams have met in the grand final, with the Blues winning 11 of its 13 matches against the Tigers since the start of its run of five consecutive premierships.

The Tigers' two losses during the 2017 home and away season, as well as its only defeat in the finals, occurred against Kerang, with the Blues producing strong second quarters in its round 12 and second semi-final matches, as well as a clinical response in its opening round match, to defeat Woorinen.

"Not much has changed to Woorinen from two weeks ago. They are a really good side and match up well against us," Kerang coach, Travis Matheson said.

"It will be up to our midfielders to put in one last big effort."

The Blues will make at least one change to the side that defeated Woorinen by 14 points in the second semi-final, with Brandon Hayes returning to the side after Bronson Booth was ruled out for the season with a broken jaw.

"Brandon brings into the side a bit of experience. He's been around for a long time and knows what it is like to play on the big stage," Matheson said.

The Tigers go into the game with a seven-day break following a six-point preliminary final win against Swan Hill, but have done their homework to determine how to claim the club's first premiership since 2002.

"We were absolutely slaughtered in the midfield two weeks ago against Kerang," Woorinen coach, Marcus Demaria said.

"We've had a good look back at the second semi-final and have been working on areas where we can improve.

"If we can start getting more pressure around the stoppages and get control in other key positions, it will go a long way to help us win."

With this in mind, Aaron Cadd, Matthew Iannucci and Jye Barry will need to get on top of Marty Kelly, Ryan Gillingham and Blake Shay in the middle of the ground if the Tigers are to be the first side since Swan Hill in 2011 to defeat the Blues in a grand final.

Joel Donnan's battle with Kerang premiership ruckman, Troy Davis will be pivotal to the result, with Davis to go into the game primed after Donnan challenged the former AFL player in the second semi-final.

Doug Beames will be reliant on Woorinen's forward forays, but may struggle to have the same impact as he did in last weekend's preliminary final if Patrick Taban goes to the Tigers' barometer.

However, as in the past five grand finals, it will be Kerang's forward line that will set up another premiership success.

In previous years it has been Luke Livingston who has run rampant in Kerang's forward 50 on grand final day, but Scott Lockwood is just as capable to achieve this.

If Jamie Nicholas fails to stop the spearhead from taking control of the game, Kerang will return from Swan Hill with an eighth CMFNL premiership.

PREDICTION : Kerang will win by 20 points.

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