NCFL first semi-final: St Arnaud v Birchip-Watchem

LLOYD SNARES FEENY MEDAL IN FIRST SEASON

ST ARNAUD v BIRCHIP-WATCHEM - 2.30pm Saturday at Donald.

Since 2009: St Arnaud 9; Birchip-Watchem 8.

Last time: St Arnaud 17.20 (122) d Birchip-Watchem 15.6 (96).

A YEAR after claiming the North Central Football League wooden spoon, Birchip-Watchem is back in the finals.

The Bulls will take on St Arnaud in Saturday’s first semi-final at Donald after scraping into the finals on the back of a draw with Boort last week.

While the Bulls had to fight to the wire last week to grab fourth spot, the Saints freshened up on the back of a round 19 bye.

St Arnaud - which has won four more games than the Bulls - and Birchip-Watchem have met three times this season, with the ledger 2-1 in favour of the Saints.

“The strength of both sides is the forward lines, so it’s probably going to come down to which side’s defence can stand up the best,” Bulls coach Tom Carland said.

“The midfields are both fairly even, so it’s going to be about getting on top there and making it easier on the defenders.”

The winner gets a week off before the preliminary final.

Tip: St Arnaud by 30.

TALE OF THE TAPE

St Arnaud:

Won: 11. Lost: 5.

Average for: 101.6. Against: 94.9.

Quarters won: 36/64.

Flag: $8.

Birchip-Watchem:

Won: 7. Lost: 8. Drawn: 1.

Average for: 84.5. Against: 94.9.

Quarters won: 27/74.

Flag: $12.

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