Too much at stake for Chiltern Swans to falter

All the hard work of recent weeks is paying off for Chiltern co-coach Kirk Wilson and his players. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
All the hard work of recent weeks is paying off for Chiltern co-coach Kirk Wilson and his players. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

CHILTERN’S fairytale is almost complete.

After looking dead and buried four wins and percentage outside the top-five after round 12, the Swans can nail down fifth spot with a win over Beechworth at Beechworth on Saturday.

Sixth-placed Dederang-Mount Beauty trails Chiltern by 7 per cent heading into the final round and needs to crush Tallangatta to be any chance of trading positions.

The Bombers must make up 91 points and then whatever the Swans presumably beat Beechworth by.

Chiltern co-coach Kirk Wilson said yesterday the job was far from done.

“We will approach it like we have for the past six or so weeks,” Wilson said.

“Every game has been do-or-die for us since round 12 or 13 — we won’t be changing anything.

“We can’t be worried about the Dederang-Mount Beauty game at all.

“It’s not something we will be thinking about.”

Chiltern has been superb in handling pressure over the past two months, winning its past five matches — against Wodonga Saints, Barnawartha, Wahgunyah, Dederang-Mount Beauty and Tallangatta.

Its last loss came against Thurgoona on July 5 and, before that, it overpowered Ruth- erglen and Yackandandah.

The run is reminiscent of Barnawartha’s finish last season when the Tigers won six of their final eight matches to sneak into the top five before going on to win the premiership from the elimination final.

Kiewa-Sandy Creek ach-ieved a similar miracle in 2011.

Chiltern’s task on Saturday will be made that little bit harder by the fact that it will be playing long-time rival Beechworth.

“They will definitely be throwing everything at us,” Wilson said.

“There is no way they will be holding back.

“We wouldn’t want it any other way, to be honest.

“It’s going to be a tough game.”

Chiltern’s revival has been on the back of its midfield drive with the experienced heads of Mark Doolan, Matt Nichol and Dane O’Neill leading the way.

“Our midfield has really been getting us going,” Wilson said.

“We will need that to happen again.”

Dederang-Mount Beauty’s chances of kicking a mammoth score against Tallangatta will depend heavily on Daniel Bradshaw.

He put Kiewa-Sandy Creek to the sword last weekend and coach Marc Almond will be hoping the expected heavy conditions don’t slow his team’s ability to score.