I HAVE heard Chris Kennedy say a few times over the past month that Yarrawonga’s entire season has been geared towards peaking in September.
On the evidence I saw from the Wodonga Raiders coaching box last Saturday, I think he’s got it spot on.
I know we were really undermanned towards the end of the season, but Yarrawonga looked red-hot in everything it did and that was with Craig Ednie, Tyler Bonat and Brad O’Connor sitting on the sidelines.
I thought Jarryd Whinray was super against us but someone had to go at the selection table and it just shows the competition for spots at J.C. Lowe Oval.
Ednie’s the best player in the Ovens and Murray and Lavington won’t be able to give him an inch today.
Like many of his teammates, he can turn a game on its head in minutes just like Brendan Fevola did out at Lavington during the third quarter a couple of weeks ago.
I just shake my head in disbelief when I hear people in the crowd bagging Ednie.
Lavington is like Fremantle in that it grinds away and is very disciplined in everything it does while Yarrawonga remind me of Geelong as it has match-winners on every line and can blow a game apart.
The Panthers can’t afford any lapses as the Pigeons have proven they can bang on six or seven goals in a quarter and that’s near impossible to make up in finals.
The thing I like about Lavington is that Justin Koschitzke is its only traveller.
They have trained together every week for the past nine months and I’m sure they will be driven by last year’s preliminary final loss to Albury.
It would have been eating at them and if they don’t at least make the grand final it’s going to be a disappointing season for them.
Koschitzke’s output is going to be critical.
He has been in good in both matches against Yarrawonga this season and, if he can get on top of Marcus McMillan again, the Panthers could be on their way.
I must admit I would be a lot more confident of the Pigeons winning if Drew Barnes was playing.
I watched him play for the Ovens and Murray against Hampden earlier this year and we were 15 or 20 goals up when he missed a target with a handball.
Barnes was filthy with himself and hit the next contest and a poor Hampden league kid at a million miles an hour.
It’s no wonder he played in 10 successive grand finals before this season.
The verdict: Yarrawonga by 9 points.
It would have been eating at them and if they don’t ... make the grand final it’s going to be disappointing