WANDELLA will take on Hay tomorrow afternoon in the first semi-final of the Golden Rivers premiership series.
The pair met only last week in the final round of the home-and-away season where Wandella were too good for Hay despite the Lions having the home side advantage. The semi-final will be held on neutral ground, kicking off at 230pm at Ultima.
The last match- up was an untidy affair marred by swirling winds and neither side's best was on display. The Bombers managed the win by 12 points but the weather conditions made it difficult to truly assess final round form which means this game should be wide open for the taking.
Wandella coach Paul Graying said his side was very excited to be playing finals footy again.
"We're pretty excited to be here again and we'll just be sticking to what we have done all year," he said.
"We will go in with pretty close to a full side so we'll be in a good position to give it our best.
"It will no doubt be a tough game, we played them last week and there was only two goals the difference but we will just try to focus on what we can do and get the job done."
The two sides also met back in June in their round 9 clash at Wandella where the Bombers collected a convincing 62-point win over Hay.
But the Lions' side is full of depth and players such as David Fevaleaki, Jackson Ferguson, Angus McSweyn all have the ability to wreak havoc around the ball as well kick handy goals when needed.
Simon Bunyan has been a goal scoring asset also but his early season hauls of nine, eight and 10 were against the bottom three sides and those numbers fell as the season progressed and when Hay came up against the tougher end of the ladder.
Reigning premiers Wandella will be keen to contend for another grand final this year and they have shown they have the ability to threaten the top two ladder-placed sides.
They met second-placed Ultima in round 13 and went goal for goal with the Roos even leading into the final break. But a dismal fourth quarter let them down and Ultima were able to take the win by 21 points.
The Bombers met minor premiers Nullawil in round 11 and it was a solitary point that separated them at the final siren. Again, Wandella earned an early lead but allowed their opponents back into the match but this time were able to rally in the fourth.
In a game that could have gone either way, the Bombers proved they're ready to match it with the best.
Crucial to the Bombers success will be the form of star goalkicker Justin Robinson. He has proven he can break games open with a six-goal day against Nullawil back in round 11 and his ethic around the ground is never in doubt.
In the round 9 match up against Hay he was limited to three goals but had a best on ground performance.
Others to watch for the Bombers include Dillan Treacy, Cody Schepers and Jason Iannucci. When the whole side is firing, Wandella will prove to be a difficult side to beat.
Graying said finals football is a different game compared to the home-and-away season and his side wont be entering the match lightly.
"It will take a four quarter effort and we have no expectations of one player stepping up, but all 18 will need to keep a handle on their opponents."
"We'll try and play a style of footy to get the job done and we'll need everyone to be accountable on the day."
The Gannawarra Times also reached out to Hay coach Daniel Gash but he was unreachable at the time of going to print.