Weekend footy games - BFL, NCFL, MCDFL

BENDIGO FOOTBALL LEAGUE

GRAND FINAL AT STAKE: Strathfieldsaye key position player Jayden Donaldson. The Storm play Golden Square in the BFNL preliminary final.

GRAND FINAL AT STAKE: Strathfieldsaye key position player Jayden Donaldson. The Storm play Golden Square in the BFNL preliminary final.

PRELIMINARY FINAL

STRATHFIELDSAYE (16-4) v GOLDEN SQUARE (15-4-1) - 3.10pm Saturday at QEO.

Second meeting of the finals series for the Storm and Bulldogs.

A fortnight ago the Storm prevailed in the qualifying final by nine points – despite kicking one less goal – in what was a result that turned the tables on the Bulldogs, who had won their two home and away meetings.

While the qualifying final margin was only nine points, Strathfieldsaye’s 28 scoring shoring shots to the Bulldogs’ 14 was more reflective of the Storm’s dominance.

Both teams are coming off hard-fought contests last week – the Storm losing the second semi-final to Eaglehawk by three points; the Bulldogs defeating Sandhurst by four points in the first semi-final.

One of the pivotal match-ups will be the contest between the Storm’s Ron Best medallist Lachlan Sharp (131 goals) and tenacious Bulldogs’ defender Clayton Anderson.

Anderson held Sharp to one goal in the qualifying final – the only time in the Storm star’s past eight games he has been held to under six.

Should Strathfieldsaye win it will have all three teams in grand finals, with the Storm’s under-18s and reserves already having booked their ticket for the big dance on September 23.

Strathfieldsaye – In: J. Neylon, T. Petrie, J. Martyn, B. Rohde, L. Wallace, W. Donnan. Out: T. Dowd,  S. Simmons.

Golden Square – In: L. Marciano. Out: D. Keating.

• This season:

Rd 2 - Golden Square 11.13 (79) d Strathfieldsaye 9.11 (65).

Rd 11 - Golden Square 15.9 (99) d Strathfieldsaye 7.11 (53).

Second semi-final - Strathfieldsaye 9.19 (73) d Golden Square 10.4 (64).

Head to Head: Golden Square 13; Strathfieldsaye 10.

TENACIOUS: Golden Square midfielder Tom Toma has been one of the Bulldogs' standout players this season. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

TENACIOUS: Golden Square midfielder Tom Toma has been one of the Bulldogs' standout players this season. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

• Tips:

Kieran Iles (80) - Strathfieldsaye (2).

Richard Jones (79) - Strathfieldsaye (11).

Luke West (76) - Strathfieldsaye (8).

Adam Bourke (75) - Strathfieldsaye (12).

• Other matches:

Reserves – Sandhurst v Eaglehawk, 1pm.

Under-18s – South Bendigo v Sandhurst, 10.50am.

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NORTH CENTRAL

GRAND FINAL

BIRCHIP-WATCHEM (12-5) v WYCHEPROOF-NARRAPORT (15-2-1) - 2.30pm Saturday at Boort.

The North Central league has been treated to some ripper grand finals in recent years – the biggest margin in the past six has been just 12 points – and another cracker is on the offering between Birchip-Watchem and Wycheproof-Narraport.

Last year’s runners-up, Wycheproof-Narraport, has carried the tag throughout the season as the benchmark side, while the Bulls have built plenty of momentum.

The Bulls will ride a six-game winning streak into the grand final, which included defeating the Demons by 42 points in the second semi-final.

Sportsbet has the Demons slight $1.77 favourites, while the Bulls – who have the league’s longest current premiership drought dating back to 2001 – are $1.95.

Birchip-Watchem – No change listed.

Wycheproof-Narraport – In: Jordan Bish. Out: G. Turner.

Wycheproof-Narrapport star Corey Jones will play in the NCFL grand final.

Wycheproof-Narrapport star Corey Jones will play in the NCFL grand final.

• This season:

Rd 4 - Wycheproof-Narraport 13.8 (86) d Birchip-Watchem 11.6 (72).

Rd 11 - Wycheproof-Narraport 12.11 (83) d Birchip-Watchem 8.8 (56).

Second semi-final - Birchip-Watchem 15.8 (98) d Wycheproof-Narraport 8.8 (56).

Since 2009: Wycheproof-Narraport 15; Birchip-Watchem 9.

• Tips:

Luke West - Wycheproof-Narraport (14).

Adam Bourke -  Wycheproof-Narraport (11).

Kieran Iles - Birchip-Watchem (7).

• Other matches:

Reserves – Wedderburn v Wycheproof-Narraport, 12.30pm.

Under-16s – St Arnaud v Birchip-Watchem, 10.55am.

Under-13s – St Arnaud v Birchip-Watchem, 9.30am.

FLAG UP FOR GRABS: Birchip-Watchem's Jacob Noonan. The Bulls are in their first NCFL grand final since 2002 on Saturday. Picture: JASON SMITH

FLAG UP FOR GRABS: Birchip-Watchem's Jacob Noonan. The Bulls are in their first NCFL grand final since 2002 on Saturday. Picture: JASON SMITH

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MARYBOROUGH-CASTLEMAINE DISTRICT

GRAND FINAL

NAVARRE (17-1) v CARISBROOK (16-2) - 2.35pm Saturday at Princes Park

It’s the grand final match-up the MCDFL has become accustomed to.

For the fourth year in a row it will be Navarre taking on Carisbrook for the flag – all that’s different this season is grand final day has been switched to Saturday from what had been Sunday in recent years.

The Grasshoppers have comfortably won the past three grand final clashes against the Redbacks by margins of 41, 61 and 55 points as part of a string of four flags in a row.

Before their 2014, 2015 and 2016 wins over Carisbrook the Grasshoppers also defeated Lexton by 101 points in the 2013 grand final.

Should the Grasshoppers, who have played in every grand final since joining the league in 2011, prevail again they will become the first club in MCDFL history to win five flags in a row.

Carisbrook – the most successful club in the MCDFL with 13 flags – has already had one win this week, with ruckman Jackson Bowen claiming the Berry Powell Medal as league best and fairest.

Sportsbet has the Grasshoppers $1.70 favourites and the Redbacks at $2.05.

• This season:

Rd 5 - Carisbrook 11.12 (78) d Navarre 9.2 (56).

Rd 15 - Navarre 11.13 (79) d Carisbrook 6.18 (54).

Head to Head: Navarre 11; Carisbrook 7.

 Tips:

Luke West - Navarre (24).

Adam Bourke -  Carisbrook (6).

Kieran Iles - Navarre (18).

• Other matches:

Reserves – Royal Park v Carisbrook, 12.50pm.

Under-17.5 – Trentham v Carisbrook, 11.30am.

Under-14.5 – Trentham v Navarre, 10.10am.

Under-11.5 – Carisbrook v Royal Park, 9am.

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