BARNAWARTHA midfielder Jack Price’s last ditch bid to play finals has failed.
Price, who has been sidelined since May 18, discovered his broken scaphoid (forearm bone), hadn’t healed properly when the plaster was removed on Monday.
“The bone hasn’t healed at all,” Tiger coach Mark Sarau said.
“He’s had it in plaster from 12 weeks and had he known what he knows now he could have had an operation and missed six or so weeks.
“It would have been good to have had him available, but that’s how it goes.”
Price and Aaron Margery (knee) are the only Barnawartha players unavailable for Sunday’s elimination final against Kiewa-Sandy Creek at Sandy Creek.
But the experienced coach believes the Tigers still deserve to start the finals series as underdogs.
“The finals campaigners this year Mitta, Kiewa and Thurgoona have been in finals for a long time and we are coming up against seasoned campaigners,” Sarau said.
“Throw in the Bradshaw factor at Dederang it really makes our life tough coming up against those teams.
“The sides all play different footy, but I think the finals experience counts for a lot.”
Kiewa-Sandy Creek has several injury concerns ahead of the clash with Ryan Richardson once again facing the prospect of juggling his troops.
The Hawks will pin their hopes heavily on Jason and Scott Bartel and Ryan Wallace to get the job done at ground level while Guy Telford and Jye Shields must also fire.
Barnawartha’s defence has been led by the underrated Ryan Lempa in recent weeks with Barton medallist Cameron McNeill and Josh Spence the obvious dangermen.
Richardson said his team wanted to make the most of the opportunity after last week’s win against Rutherglen.
“It should be a good, tight game,” Richardson said.
“We will need to play at our best because they are playing well at the moment.”