An outstanding opportunity presents itself to just one of these top two teams, and that is a direct entry to the 2022 MGFNL Grand Final.
Winning will therefore be worth its weight in gold, given that in such an even competition, the victorious team will be gifted a short cut to the big dance, the loser the prospect of a straight sets loss, a scenario both sides will be desperate to avoid..
Tarwin v Newborough ( Qualifying final @ Fish Creek saturday)
Tarwin had bounced out of the blocks from round one of the season and outside of their two losses in eighteen rounds had otherwise shown very little fragility that might have given opposition sides opportunity to expose.
However, Newborough had been one of those teams to inflict defeat on the Sharks and that result had given the Bulldogs confidence in their ability to repeat the effort when it counted most.
Possibly, just possibly one of Newboprough's biggest hurdles was that they have been confronted with the unusual predicament of having a bye in the last round of the home and away season, followed by a week off in the first week of finals.
Craig Skinner, Newborough coach "We now have a hungry team that believe in themselves as much as I do, we now look forward to showing just what Newborough stand for when we meet Tarwin in the finals"
As luck, either good or bad, might have it Tarwin too, had played their last two games of the year against the League's bottom two sides prior to their week off last weekend.
Troy Hemming, Tarwin coach "We had the week off in the first week of finals, and now we take on Newborough. I'm just really excited to see the boys enjoying their footy and they deserve now to give the finals a good crack, it's just the best time of the year.".
These two top teams are quality and most deserving of the opportunity given to claim the first of two positions in the 2022 MGFNL Grand Final.
That said, there is no guarantee that both will eventually meet on that very big occasion, and good sides take opportunities they seize opportunities they do what it takes to get what they want.
In this instance we have two clubs that believe they are “the” team to do just that.
One of them is wrong.
Yinnar v Boolarra (Elimination final @ Newborough sunday) The challenge was always going to be enormous, for any side that finished outside of the top two teams in the MGFNL competition, because it would mean needing to win, not one, not two, but three finals before the chance to earn a spot in the Big Dance in the last game of the year.
Yinnar and Boolarra have crossed the first bridge with their wins just last week with their wins over Foster and Hill End respectively.
This weekend one of them will fall at the second hurdle, while the victor will move one step forward as they face a preliminary final against the loser of the top of the table clash between Tarwin and Newborough.
For now however the focus for both coaches, is no further than what this week presents.
Daniel Taylor, Yinnar coach “Its another opportunity against a quality side and our rivals in Boolarra, They've got quality players across the board and we know exactly how they want to play, the challenge for us is to bring the heat and get the game on our terms. It's a massive game and we'll and I'm confident we'll be up for the fight.”
The Magpies seem to have finally got it all together in just the nick of time, playing their football at the most important time, the challenge is one that the Demons feel they are ready for.
Tony Giardina, Boolarra coach “Thist weeks game is big, Yinnar looked impressive so we need to come prepared from the first bounce.”
Both Boolarra and Yinnar seemed to be facing defeat in their first week of finals, the Demons after a slow start against Hill End, and the Magpies after giving up the lead to Foster late in the last quarter.
There may not be those same opportunities again this week as the stakes slowly but surely become higher and higher.