SATURDAY’S Upper Murray league grand final will be a battle of speed and endurance, Border-Walwa and Cudgewa’s coaches believe.
Bullioh will look to make amends for last year’s surprise grand final loss to Corryong when they take on Federal at the Tallangatta Valley recreation reserve on Saturday.
The Bulldogs have been the team to beat all season, not losing a single game and cruising into the grand final with a win over the Swans – their fourth triumph over the red and white for the year.
For their part, the Swans have clearly been the second-most dominant team in the league, dropping only four games in the regular season – three to Bullioh, and a one-point loss to Cudgewa in round seven.
Federal were encouraged by their competitive first half in the second semi-final, where they lead at half-time, but Border-Walwa coach Craig Bosley believes the Swans will need to find a way to step up in the second half.
He was tipping Bullioh for the flag, but added that Federal were definitely in with a shot.
“I think Bullioh are a bit more prepared this year, they’ve done a lot of extra work heading into finals,” he said.
“The Swans certainly have a big chance to score an upset though.
“If their big men are able to dominate, they’ll be right in it – I think they’ve done very well to get to this point.”
Cudgewa coach Nathan Lefoe was of a similar school of though, but said Bullioh were heavily favoured to take home the premiership.
“I reckon Federal will be pretty competitive, but it’s Bullioh’s to lose,” he said.
“They’ve been the best side all year and have proven themselves up to this point.
“They just have to prove it one more time.
“If matchups work out in their favour and they’re able to play a bit more man on man, I think Federal would have more of a chance, but if they let Bullioh play their style of footy they’re going to find it pretty tough.”
The Bulldogs will face the Blues in the reserves grand final, which kicks off at 12.30pm.
Bullioh will again be heavy favourites in that match, having also made it through to the grand final undefeated.
Bullioh face Federal in the under-13 grand final as well.