WHO would have thought Sunday’s Loddon Valley Football League elimination final at Pyramid Hill would feature Bears Lagoon-Serpentine taking on Calivil United?
The Bears spent 16 of the 18 weeks sitting in the top three, and even as late as entering last week’s final round, were still in second position.
Calivil United sat in the top three for 11 weeks, and were in third position last week before surrendering it with a 29-point loss to Pyramid Hill.
The Bears and Demons have followed similar patterns this season.
Both started the season strongly – the Bears won nine of their first 10 games, while the Demons won eight of their first 10 and drew with reigning premier Bridgewater.
However, both have been unable to recapture their form in the second half of the season and now find themselves in Sunday’s cut-throat position.
While the Bears would be disappointed to have lost their grip on the double chance, the positive is the club is at least back in the finals for the first time since 2006 when it lost to Calivil United by 103 points in the first semi-final.
An area the Demons will look to tighten up on Sunday is their defence. They have conceded an average of 126 points per game over their past four matches.
For their first 14 games they conceded just 64 points per game.
Calivil United is contesting a remarkable 17th-straight finals campaign, having played in every finals series since 1996, during which it has won eight premierships.
The Demons – who lost last year’s elimination final to Mitiamo – have been beaten in both games by the Bears this season.
But in both matches it has been just one quarter that has let them down.
Damien Featherby (BL-Serpentine) – “The boys are all jumping out of their skin and loving the fact we’re back in the finals. Training has been really good this week, so we’ll put our fittest 21 out there and give it our best shot.”
Cameron Carter (Calivil United) – “I guess it’s two sides that have been up around the top three all year and now find themselves in an elimination final.
“Our past six weeks of the year haven’t been fantastic, but we start fresh now in the finals and hopefully, we can find some of our form from earlier in the season.”