Tigers desperate to maintain momentum

PASSIONATE: Kyneton coach Luke Beattie has high expectations of his players in the run home to the Bendigo Football Netball League finals. Picture: ADAM BOURKE
PASSIONATE: Kyneton coach Luke Beattie has high expectations of his players in the run home to the Bendigo Football Netball League finals. Picture: ADAM BOURKE

Mathematically, Kyneton could lose its remaining three matches and still make the BFNL finals.

The fourth-placed Tigers play top three sides Eaglehawk, Golden Square and Strathfieldsaye in the final three rounds, starting with a home clash against the top-of-the-table Hawks on Saturday.

Kyneton coach Luke Beattie isn’t interested in limping into the finals on the back of three-straight defeats.

He wants and expects his side to carry some momentum into September.

“We’ve never really concerned ourselves too much with the mathematical  equation (for finals),’’ Beattie said.

“Over the past six weeks we’ve focused really intrinsically on ourselves and how we’re going about it.

“Saturday is an opportunity to further explore that approach. The boys have done some really good work in the past three or four weeks on some areas that we needed to improve on and we’ll get tested in those areas by Eaglehawk over four quarters.

“That’s exactly the sort of challenge we want. If we can’t be competitive with the three top teams in the next three weeks then there’s no point us playing in the finals.

“You don’t want to be there just making up the numbers.”

Harrison Huntley has been in good form for the Tigers.

Harrison Huntley has been in good form for the Tigers.

In the first half of the season, the Tigers were 0-3 against Eaglehawk, Square and Strathfieldsaye.

They lost to the Hawks by seven points, the Bulldogs by one point and the Storm by 30 points.

“At the midway part of the year we reassessed our goals as a group and we set a goal of reversing the close games we had in early part of the year,’’ Beattie said.

“So far we’ve achieved that in two examples and this game (against Eaglehawk) gives us another opportunity to correct another close loss.”

Eaglehawk full-forward Matt Gretgrix kicked nine of Eaglehawk’s 18 goals when they met in round seven. A broken hand means Gretgrix won’t play this weekend.

“We’re not going into the game thinking that Eaglehawk will be less dangerous because Gerta is not playing,’’ Beattie said.

“Their last two weeks without him has shown they’re still extremely potent and they’re sharing their goals around.”

Kyneton has been strengthened by the return of key forward Dan Davie, which will enable the Tigers to release Harrison Huntley back to his key defensive post.

The Hawks will field their strongest team for some weeks.

Key defender Dylan Hanley and utilities Riley McIvor and Sam Harper are back in the Hawks’ 22.